North West Gearing up for online learning

With the world fast moving into the Forth Industrial Revolution wherein everything is done through Information and Communication Technology, MEC Mmaphefo Matsemela insists that learners in the North West province will not be left from behind.

During the 2020 academic year, Covid-19 disrupted teaching and learning in most of the schools across the country. In most areas remote teaching and learning could not take place during the hard lockdown due to lack of resources.

To mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on the education system, the North West Department of Education procured 30 292 tablets for Grade 12 learners and 1 198 laptops for teachers. The intervention is done to enhance teaching and learning in and outside the classroom environment.

This process of in-school and remote learning has already started at Moremogolo Primary School in Phokeng, Rustenburg prior to Covid-19 and as such,
MEC Matsemela together with her senior management team members visited this Primary School to conduct benchmarking on its online teaching method.

Moremogolo Primary has 110 tablets which they received through donations and they rotate them amongst learners from Grade 1 to Grade 7.

Job Kaira, principal of Moremogolo Primary School, highlighted that they started to use these gadgets in June 2020 and allowed them to cover the Annual Teaching Plan.

The North West Department of Education MEC, Mmaphefo Matsemela emphasized that the department will provide equitable education through ICT.

“As the department we want to see equable education through access to ICT. The Fourth Industrial Revolution has been part of our priorities as a sector of education and we will ensure that it is realised. Our learners should be able to access to education while at school or at home. I will not afford a situation this year where learners cannot be taught due to lockdown. As a department we should intervene strongly on that by providing our learners with the gadgets to help them.

“The devices need to be loaded with educational content and that will be followed by training of teachers and learners on the use of these devices. Already the department has established a task team to ensure that content is loaded on the tablets. Since the memory of the tablets is limited, content will be loaded according to the stream of the learners.

“These tablets are going to be part of the Learning and Teaching Supply Material (LTSM),” said MEC Matsemela.

In schools where tablets were sponsored by private institutions training of teachers is underway in both primary and secondary schools. This is evident in Ngaka Modiri Molema and Dr. Kenneth Kaunda districts. Other districts will follow.

Matsemela further emphasized that these laptops will remain as school property to be used by learners of upcoming Grades in the next academic year and therefore pleads with learners to handle the gadgets with care. These gadgets will be distributed to the learners once the relevant content has been loaded.

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