Corporate social responsibility with a view of improving ICT facilities in South African schools

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Makharinge, Glorence
Issue Date
MBA in Project Management
Dublin Business School
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Disparities in funding received by rural and urban schools in South Africa impacts education quality, access to information and performance of learners. Enormous inequality is observed in the availability of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in schools for teaching and learning resulting in the digital divide which is major concern in schools, especially rural schools. This research investigates how businesses through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) play a sustainable role in addressing this issue. Additionally, an investigation is carried out with schools to identify the ICT challenges and the solutions implemented to address ICT challenges. To gain an in-depth understanding, a total of 15 semi structured interviews were carried. Of which, 10 were primary and secondary schools in Greater Giyani Local Municipality, Limpopo Province, South Africa and 5 were business with operations in the province. This study found that inequality in accessing ICT exists, 50% of the schools were not exposing learners to ICT in the teaching and learning due to lack of ICT. Additionally, external and internal challenges affecting the implementation ICT were investigated, the challenges that the schools face are lack of or minimal ICT tools, teachers training, burglary, teachers’ attitude and bad network coverage. Funding is a big challenge for the school, it was found that only 20% of the schools were receiving funding from the private sector. However, the sustainability of the CSR initiatives is questionable as the teachers were not trained and not using some of the ICT facilities donated by the private sector. Although all businesses were playing a role in solving societal challenges, this study revealed that only 2 of the 5 participants were providing ICT to schools voluntarily through CSR. The reason for not focusing on ICT were many and included not wanting to focus on too many things, it was outside the company’s value chain, it is not a priority for the schools. Although all businesses were playing a role in solving societal challenges in different sectors, this study revealed that only 2 of the 5 businesses were providing ICT to schools voluntary through CSR.