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Crucial Citizen Involvement in Education

PUPILS, teachers and the Upington community in the Northern Cape are the latest to be empowered through The Vodacom Mobile Education Programme.

Donated to the community, by the cell-phone giant, is a centre equipped with a computer room that has fifty terminals, educational aids, training facilities and three years of free internet connectivity for online e-learning. A total of 1 400 teachers from 172 schools within the Northern Cape will be trained in the use of technology while enjoying access to teacher aids and curriculum content through cloud computing – an internet based warehouse of educational material. Efforts to boost South Africa’s rating in the teaching and grasp of mathematics and science stand to benefit from the annual training of eighty teachers of these subjects.

“Interventions such as these are not only expected to improve learner pass rates for mathematics and science in the province, but are also expected to ensure that learners pursue these subjects at tertiary level,” says Maya Makanjee, chief officer corporate affairs at Vodacom.

Active and progressive participation of citizens, including corporate, in matters affecting the South African educations system is deemed crucial in transforming into contentment the voices that justifiably bemoan the general low quality of teaching and learning. “Education is a societal issue and all stakeholders need to take part in bringing about a fully functional education system that is also advanced in terms of technology,” says Northern Cape Education MEC Grizelda Cjiekella.

Launched in October last year, the just over a yea-old Vodacom Mobile Education Programme now has centers in all the nine provinces of the country. Microsoft, Cisco and Mindset provide the centers with software, programme content, certification and training, and educational curriculum content.

The initiative seek to help the Department of Basic Education meet its goal of exposing learners to ICT and to give teachers access to quality teaching resources.  For more information, visit www.digitalclassroom.co.za.

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