R200m project to improve technology in schools
The ConneCTed sChools programme will help break the digital divide in schools and assist South Africa in improving the ICT professional development of teachers.
over the next five years, the Telkom Foundation will invest R200 million to improve ICT, maths and science education in schools. Pilot projects have begun in Gauteng, with the Eastern Cape to follow before the programme is rolled out countrywide.
The first phase of the Connected Schools Programme (CSP) saw new high-technology infrastructure built at five schools in Tshwane West – NM Tsuene High in Ga-Rankuwa, Ruabohlale Junior Secondary School and Seageng Secondary School in Soshanguve, Winterveldt High and MH Baloyi High in Winterveldt.
New computer labs for 50 pupils were built and 943 learners and 60 teachers at the five schools received tablets and laptops loaded with educational content.
Speaking at the launch of the initiative at Winterveldt High, the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, applauded the telecommunications utility and added, “Placing key ICT devices in the hands of our teachers and learners has the potential to break the digital divide and indeed assist us in improving the ICT professional development of all teachers involved.”
More than just learning
Telkom’s Group CEO, Sipho Maseko, explained that the utility and the Department of Basic Education (DBE) intend to create environments that encourage growth and development. Beginning with Grade 8 pupils, the programme will help them develop skills and prepare them for careers in the ICT sector.
“It has been made very clear that we have a significant skills gap in South Africa, as well as a lack of connectivity in certain areas. While the focus on subjects such as maths and science at a school level has increased, this has not been supported by actual large-scale investment. We are changing that.”
A further R130 million will be spent on the Supplementa-
Placing key ICT devices in the hands of our teachers and learners has the potential to break the digital divide