How will education meet the rising demands for ICT skills in South Africa?

"Since the mid-Nineties the use of Internet Communication Technology (ICT) has been making its way into South African classrooms. And yet, currently only 28% of public schools around the country use computers and other digital devices to enhance teaching and learning, according to the Department of Basic Education. The fact that South Africa ranks in 65th place out of 145 economies in overall ICT usage (according to the World Economic Forum’s 2015 Global Networked Readiness Report) indicates the current lack of impact in South Africa’s e-Education initiatives.

In this report South Africa was numbered among the sub-Saharan countries that have both an ICT policy on education and a plan in place to implement ICT into the education system. So why are we not seeing more impact in e-Learning in the South African education ecosystem in 2017?"

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ICT access and use in rural schools in South Africa: The Northern Cape Province

"The use of information and communication technology (lCT) in education can be of major benefit not only in teaching and learning, but also in enhancing administration processes. It does more than just improve the quality of learning, but helps with the induction of learners to technology-embedded practices of the post -schooling information economy.

The study investigates the status of access to computers and Internet, whether the schools have computers, Internet, programs, relevant curricula, and whether teachers have the skill to use computers and related programs for teaching in rural South Africa, using the Northern Cape Province as a case study."

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Minister wants to see more women in ICT

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.

Operation Phakisa ICT implementation in schools under spotlight

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.

Survey of ICT in Education in South Africa

The current ICT in education policy framework has been evolving since 1996 and is embedded within a broader national government economic, social, and development strategy which includes:

  • Attention at the highest level in government to the role of ICTs in the promotion of economic growth, job creation, social development, and global competitiveness
  • Linkages of South Africa’s strategy to a broader pan-African mandate as expressed in the commitment to the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) programme and its dedicated project promoting e-schooling.
  • Overhaul in the education and skills development system at all levels 
  • A dedicated policy on the transformation of learning and teaching through the use of ICTs, particularly in the formal schools and FET college sectors

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The status of ICT in education in South Africa and the way forward

"This document reflects on the status of information and communication technology (ICT) in education in South Africa, with the purpose of providing a baseline from which changes can be initiated, and progress measured. It integrates work done in a previous NECT study on existing e-Education initiatives (Ostrowick, 2016), work done by SAIDE to reflect on ICT in Education (Amory et al, 2015) and work done by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to inform provincial strategies for ICT in Education (Marais et al, 2016)."

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When communities are empowered through technology, the economy grows

"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.

For the poor, inequality translates to a lack of access to quality education and healthcare. The often tense political debates about the causes of the problems and possible solutions can easily dampen the nation’s spirit. In some cases, the debates are characterised by a destructive blame game among stakeholders."