The digital divide being one of them. What is the digital divide? It is the gap between those with sufficient knowledge of and access to technology and those without. The Covid-19 has only served to exacerbate the existing inequality in education: teachers and students are out of the loop because they lack sufficient technology and digital skills.
How do we eliminate this problem? The private sector and the government can make a difference. One such company heeded that call. The Alfeco School Development Drive donated a computer lab and mural to the Katlehong Engineering School of Specialisation (SoS) in Manufacturing and Logistics on October 8.
The lab comes fully furnished with internet connectivity. The company aims to actively participate in the rise of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) by prioritising the introduction and education of technology and equipping the youth not only with computer literacy skills but higher cognitive thinking and creativity to expand the use of digital technologies introduced in the previous revolution.
Jaco Opperman, Principal of Katlehong Engineering School, had this to say: “This is an exciting time for our school for this donation will ensure that subjects such as Robotics in Manufacturing, Coding and Drone Technology are undertaken by all learners from Grade Eight.”
Further to this, the school plans to expand their curriculum for Grade Eight’s next year by introducing a pilot Digital Technology subject.
“On behalf of the School Governing Body, the teacher core, and learners of Katlehong Engineering School, we are deeply grateful for this generous contribution and to our community for supporting us. We promise that we will do our best to play a part in actively uplifting the community and learners through development programmes using the newly donated lab.”
The school further plans to host computer literacy classes for community members to educate them and minimise far-reaching consequences informed by the lack of access to technology, such as lacking relevant skills that can render them redundant to participate in the ever-advancing global economy.
This computer lab is the first of many for Alfeco as the organisation aims to collaborate with other schools of specialisation in efforts to groom future generations that will drive change and innovation within the manufacturing industry.
It would be rather difficult for one organisation to address all of these conditions. It would make sense for both the private sector and the government to take a systematic approach and find out in which areas they experience the greatest weakness and work from there. Providing ongoing professional learning and technical support for teachers and learners.