ICT will form part of curriculum in North West schools says MEC
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DURBAN: North West Education MEC Mmaphefo Matsemela is adamant that pupils will not be left out of the Fourth Industrial Revolution curriculum integration, which utilises Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
The pandemic has caused multiple disruptions to the 2020 academic year and, in most areas, remote teaching and learning could not take place during the hard lockdown due to a lack of resources.
To reduce the impact of the pandemic on the education system, the North West Department of Education (DoE) has procured 30 292 tablets for its Grade 12 pupils and 1 198 laptops for Grade 12 teachers.
This has been done to enhance teaching and learning, in and out of the classroom environment.
According to the department’s spokesperson Elias Malindi, the process of in-school and remote learning has already commenced at Moremogolo Primary School in Phokeng, Rustenburg, prior to Covid-19. The MEC, together with her senior management team, visited this school to conduct benchmarking on its online teaching method.
Moremogolo Primary School has 110 tablets, which they received through donations, and is on a rotational basis among pupils from Grade one to seven.
The school principal Job Kaira said they started to use these devices in June last year, and that these devices allowed the school to cover the annual teaching plan.
MEC Matsemela said the department will provide equitable education through the access to ICT.
“As a department, we want to see equitable 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 pupils should be able to access education, while at school or at home.
“I will not afford a situation this year where pupils cannot be taught due to the lockdown. As an Education Department, we should intervene strongly on that by providing our pupils 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 pupils 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 pupils. These tablets are going to be part of the Learning and Teaching Supply Material (LTSM),” said Matsemela.
The department and sponsors are currently training teachers, both primary and secondary, in the Ngaka Modiri Molema and Dr Kenneth Kaunda districts, with the remaining districts to follow soon.
Matsemela added that these laptops will remain as school property, to be used by pupils of upcoming grades in the next academic year, and will be distributed once all content has been downloaded.