275 more Schools in Gauteng Go Digital…

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 A fresh start as students go back to school today…

Department of Education MEC,  Panyaza Lesufi
Department of Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi

With digital education fairy tale unfolding in various township schools across South Africa, being computer illiterate is by choice because it is not like a few years ago where one needed to buy a computer to know how to operate it.

On Wednesday 15, July 2015, Grade 12 classrooms at Protea Glen Secondary School were fitted with interactive boards and tablets before school recommences on Monday.

Protea Glen is one of the 375 best-performing township schools that have been identified to receive tablets as part of the second phase of the Gauteng Education Department’s ‘Classroom of the Future’ project which was launched earlier this year.

As schools have resumed today for the third term next week, about 275 schools will start operating digitally, while the other 100 will come on board later in the term.

Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said at the time that it would cost R17 billion to roll out paperless classrooms. Creating the special classrooms is a five-year project to enable schools to use ICT tablets as tools in teaching and learning. The tablets would be connected to a server through broadband, wi-fi and 4G connections.

The preparation of Grade 12 classes
The preparation of Grade 12 classes

For now, only Grade 12 pupils will be taught how to use the tablets, which all contain the curriculum material. The entire school was excited about the project and 22 of our teachers are receiving training on how to teach learners using the new methods

“We’ve had interactions with teachers from Ponelopele Oracle Secondary School, which was in the first pilot project, and it has been very exciting. The teachers’ methods are very exciting and we cannot wait for the term to start,” he said.

School governing body treasurer Lennox Hlatshwayo reiterated that teachers were undergoing training and that they, along with the pupils, were excited about their new tools.

iSchoolAfrica“Teachers and learners are excited. The learners cannot wait to have the tablets. It is also important for us, as parents, to play an active role.”

Gauteng education spokeswoman Phumla Sekhonyane said the department encouraged schools to discuss the project with parents and communities.

“From our preliminary examination we have learnt that we have achieved what we had intended. We have ICT as resources of learning and are producing digital-age children who understand Technology. We are using technology to bridge the digital gap,” she says.

Grade 12 pupil Mvikeli Mzolo said he was glad he no longer had to carry textbooks and that he and fellow pupils would be better prepared for university. “Technology is used a lot there. If we learn as much as we can this year, we will fit in perfectly into university next year,” he said

Gauteng continues to set the bar for other provinces in terms of their uptake of innovation and technology, we surely hope that many other schools around the country will also soon get to enjoy such benefits.

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