All aboard the digibus for a better education

Rugby teacher Masimdumise January had his hands full even before the actual day of learning.

The lives of many Langa pupils were changed for the better when they received a 42-seater bus which has been transformed into a classroom with 40 laptops and two teaching stations.

The Atlas Digibus was donated to the VUSA Rugby and Learning Academy on Wednesday October 13, by the Atlas Foundation in partnership with Cognizant, Bishops Diocesan College, and Coronation Fund Managers

The state-of-the-art digibus classroom will ensure that more than 100 primary school pupils will receive quality education, focusing on the transition from isiXhosa to English learning at Grade 4 level.

The project is Vusa Academy’s latest initiative to make a difference in the lives of children at Mokone, Siyabulela, Moshesh, Thembani and Zimasa primary schools, supporting their development with an online literacy programme.

Atlas Foundation trustee Sue Anderson said she was happy that Langa was among the beneficiaries. “Vusa is a deserving beneficiary This will be life changing. We love the values in rugby accompanied by education. The Atlas Foundation seeks to provide children with the chance to thrive. That is what we stand for,” said Ms Anderson.

Speaking at the handover, Brendan Fogarty, founder and director of the Vusa Academy, said he was delighted for the children of Langa who were going to benefit and thanked all involved in the project.

“The Atlas Digibus will offer children access to excellent academic support, utilising the expertise and materials of leading schools,“ he said.

“We will have teachers on board and the bus will visit various schools in Langa. The bus will visit schools in the morning and in the afternoon. It will be near the stadium.

“We have realised that our children need vocabulary to understand many things. That is why they will transform from isiXhosa to English. Some of the things they fail is because of terminology not that they are stupid,” he said.

Bishops principal and chairman of the Vusa Academy, Antony Reeler said: “This is a wonderful addition to our existing programme which allows us to extend our impact which is much needed in the Langa community, especially after the past 20 months of Covid-19 lockdowns. We are very grateful to all those who made this project happen, especially to the Atlas Foundation,” he said

Wendy Bergsteedt, head of marketing at Coronation Fund Managers was very excited to support what she called an incredible initiative. “With education being at the heart of how we work to uplift our communities, supporting this mobile classroom is an innovative way for us to give the learners the boost they need in reaching their full potential. These children are our next generation of leaders and we can’t wait to see how they progress. We are because of them,” she said.

Rugby teacher at Zimasa Nosipho Phoswa added: “This is great news. Of course we are very happy with the new classrooms. You have seen the children, they are happier and understandably so. This will help with their homework too. It will make learning easier for them. I am happy,” she said.

The project will employ up to five new staff including a qualified teacher, with funding from Vusa supported by Coronation Fund Managers.

Langa children could not believe that they are now studying a in luxurious classroom in a form of a bus.
Vusa Rugby and Learning Academy children queueing to get into the bus to start clicking those laptops and learn.