Information and communication technology (ICT) has infiltrated society to the point of becoming essential to much of its everyday functioning. People rely on ICT to communicate, access information, and stay connected in an increasing globalised community. In many developed countries, ICT is now strongly featured in education for teaching and learning.

Read more: Understanding science teachers‘ use and integration of ICT in a developing country context

The South African State is overburdened. It needs constructive private sector partnerships to cope. If not properly managed, the burden could impose a risk to democracy. Increase in unemployment, poverty, inequality and expanding demand for basic services are weighing heavily on the state.

What makes matters worse is that the resources available to the state to tackle these problems are dwindling in an economy that is registering low growth. Unfortunately, the little growth that is recorded is punctuated by a technical recession. The result is that the challenges have almost become a feature of the country’s unhealthy socio-economic fabric that needs to be broken.

Read more: When communities are empowered through technology, the economy grows

As part of the of the BRICS Rising Star series, CGTN Africa featured a start-up in South Africa that's using the digital revolution to embrace new opportunities. Ordinary citizens in the BRICS nations haven't yet felt the full impact of advancing technology - but young people are desperate to make connections and form meaningful partnerships. A young entrepreneur in South Africa is using technology to upgrade the education sector and improve literacy in schools across the country. This is his story.

 

Preparing Girls in Africa to meet the challenges of the 21st century: That's the goal GirlHype has set itself. Each year around 500 young women are taught computer programming in order to improve their options when they enter the labor market.

 

Ten years ago, Nelson Mandela asked Oracle to build a school in one of Johannesburg’s poorest townships: Tembisa. Formed under apartheid when black people were forced to resettle, Tembisa today still grapples with high unemployment, drug use, and poor sanitation. Amid this backdrop, Oracle built the Ponelopele Oracle Secondary School, in partnership with the local government. Today, many of those first graduates have beaten the odds. They are engineers, doctors, and teachers, and they have given hope to future graduates who know no boundaries.


Litha Primary School is situated in Gugulethu in the Western Cape. They are a no-fee school and were selected by the WCED as one of their model schools for ICT roll-out and integration. They have enthusiastically embraced e-learning and have shown that they are not a township school, but a school of excellence in a township.

 

A study done by SchoolNet South Africa or SNSA, has found that the introduction and integration of digital tools in the classroom have proven to improve the literacy levels among children. This follows after the shocking report of the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) in 2017 that stated that at least 78% of grade 4 learners in South African cannot read properly. According to SNSA the solution to the foundation phase reading crisis - is technology!

 

Information Communications Technology is increasingly being used across most South African schools. This has not only changed teaching methodology, but has also ignited passion for learning within the foundation phase pupils. This was evident at Eding Primary school at Klerksdorp in the North West, during the visit by the deputy minister of Basic Education, Enver Surty and deputy minister for Planning, Monitoring & Evaluation in the Presidency, Buti Manamela. The two were in the province, to assess the implementation of Operation Phakisa ICT in schools.

Steve is the Managing Director of an Educational NGO called Living Maths. He teaches 4500 students weekly in schools around Cape Town and now recently, the world. He is passionate about sharing knowledge and empowering young people. In this whistle-stop tour through his current experiments with technology and education he shows how to use simple and freely available technology to vastly enhance the teaching and learning experience.

The South African government has started converting some public schools into high-tech learning centres. It is trading books and pens in favour of computer tablets and wi-fi. However, while some schools are benefiting from the government rollout, others do not have libraries or flushing toilets and some are short staffed and underresourced. 

 

We currently living through the era known as the fourth industrial revolution which means that everything is done digitally. Technology is being updated almost in a blink of an eye. Many businesses in South Africa are making move to digital migration but this process is being slowed down by the lack of skills in the Information, Communication and Technology sector known as ICT. In order for businesses to have a competitive edge they need to keep up with the global digital trends. To speak to us about the backlog in ICT skills and how to close the gap in our country is Craig Terblanche, regional director for OutSystems SA.

 

South Africa's education system is receiving a digital facelift. Computer tablets are being distributed in schools in parts of the country as part of a new campaign to advance the use of technology at public learning institutions. As part of the Smart Schools project, 88 000 tablets are to be distributed to students in public schools. Sumitra Nydoo visited one of the schools to find out how learners are adapting to using the new technology.

 

Litha Soyizwapi is a graphic designer and a self-taught app developer. His popular GauRider app is the quickest and most elegant way to manage commutes on Gautrain—the rapid transit railway system linking Johannesburg, Pretoria and OR Tambo International Airport in Gauteng Province, South Africa. Here, he talks about how graphic design taught him to think in disciplined ways he had never done before by forcing him to organise and visualize data.

 

“In South Africa, schools have limited infrastructure. Education is changing into becoming taught with ICT's and limited connectivity. eGAMA have created a new way of bridging the gap between rural and urban mainstream schools by creating a solution that takes the education to the schools. In this video, you will see the mobile solution we have created by converting a bus to a mobile classroom of the 21st century allowing us to take ICT's to the much needed previously disadvantaged areas.”

A mere 945 schools out of a total of 5 421 schools in the Eastern Cape have been connected with Information and Communication Technology (ICT), says the Democratic Alliance (DA).

"That means only 17% of learners, teachers, and principals have access to ICT at school, according to the response to a legislature question I asked Education MEC Mandla Makupula.

"One of the ways to combat the structural poverty that the Eastern Cape education system has foisted on the learners of this province is through a massive internet-related teaching programme, to circumvent the failures of the current education system," says Edmund van Vuuren (MPL), DA Eastern Cape Shadow MEC for Education.

Read more in Rnews

Tags: ICT in Education

Africa Teen Geeks (ATG), in partnership with the Gauteng department of basic education, will be piloting a mechatronics, coding and robotics initiative in Tshwane schools from January 2019.

Africa Teen Geeks founder Lindiwe Matlali said the organisation had partnered with the education department to advance the programme.

"We are working with the Tshwane district to pilot the programme before venturing into other districts and provinces.

"At present we are training teachers, a task Oracle is helping us to achieve. They are training teachers in five provinces to make sure that by the time we start the roll-out process, we have a big enough pool of qualified teachers who can teach the content."

Read more in IT Web

Tags: ICT in Education

Driving the use of data in teaching maths at schools came under the spotlight when education bigwigs got together in Grassy Park at the weekend.

Hosted by the Metro South Education District together with Green Shoots, education directors, circuit and curriculum managers, and principals attended the School Management: Data Informed Decisions Conference to encourage and support a maths online curriculum experience, and highlight the value data can add to teaching and learning.

Metro South Education District curriculum coordinator for Grades R to 9 Lorraine Bailey said 52 630 pupils were accessing the maths online curriculum, most of whom were in the south district.

“We have always had teachers using the chalkboard to teach maths. This programme boosts teaching, and gives teachers insight into what pupils are struggling with.”

Read more in IOL.co.za

Tags: ICT in Education

In a world that will be dominated by the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), 3D printing, robotics and cryptocurrencies, for South African black youth to truly advance radical economic transformation, they must embrace the fourth industrial revolution through innovation and creativity. Youth should channel their energy and attention into acquiring skills that will be required in the epoch we are entering.

We should critically question the education system, and ask questions like: What are the skills sets required in the fourth industrial revolution? What type of skills do we have now that will become redundant? Is the curriculum in basic and higher education future-ready? What is the value of knowledge, when Google and YouTube are at our fingertips? Young people, particularly those in the ANC, should honestly reflect on these questions and come with concrete strategy and practical programmes to prepare for this change.

Read more in Huffington Post

Tags: ICT in Education

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB SA) has kick-started a campaign for all South Africans to have free basic access to the Internet. As the right to information is one of our constitutional rights, it follows that South Africans should have the ability to access this information freely.

Chris Borain, chair of the IAB SA, says, “We believe in fostering digital equality among all citizens.  While Icasa is taking great strides to address the high cost of data, a basic level of free Internet access is a separate issue that requires as much attention. All South Africans, especially vulnerable groups and those without access to mobile phones, have the right to access information online, from government services, employment opportunities or online education resources.”

The IAB SA is already partnering with other media stakeholders to justify the case for free basic internet access and stimulate dialogue on the matter.

Read more in South Coast Herald

Tags: ICT in Education

Siyafunda digital library created by Zakheni Ngubo challenges three gaps that he has identified in the South African school system; language barriers‚ patchy academic support and teachers lacking in confidence.
The organisation is a learning and data management platform that provides access to local Maths, Science, Entrepreneurship, Financial literacy and digital skills through mobile technology. It integrates teaching through video, audio and e-books using a wireless digital library for high school students for a South African curriculum.

Read more here: https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/south-africa/2018-05-22-digital-library-a-treasure-chest-for-pupils/

Tags: Maths and Science ICT in Education teacher support School Infrastructure

As the world enters the fourth industrial revolution, women can no longer be spectators but need to be active participants in this emerging economy. This was the sentiment shared by  minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane.  She pointed out that female participation in the ICT sector is woefully low, especially in Southern African nations.

According to the minister, the fourth industrial revolution brings improved employment opportunities in the ballooning ICT sector and increased ability of informal sector women to find opportunities in the formal sector.

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