To change the face of township schools, Gauteng department of education is building a broadcasting studio supported by Sci-Bono which will cater for learners who are not yet benefiting from the current Information and Communications Technology (ICT) rollout.
This was announced yesterday at a meeting between the education portfolio committee and education stakeholders where the department made a presentation on ICT, admissions, infrastructure and Covid-19 at schools in the province
Head of department Edward Mosuwe said there were over 200,000 learner devices, 8,000 classroom devices and 16,000 teacher laptops that have been procured and distributed.
“The studio will have high definition (HD) capability and it will allow for group activities to take place. It will be able to conduct physical science experiments, showcase coding and robotics and it will be streamed live through a YouTube channel,” he said.
Mosuwe said through ICT the department wants to improve educational outcomes, change the classroom experience, introduce new skills for curriculum delivery, prepare learners for the 4th Industrial Revolution and change the face of township education.
“The current classroom-based model had to be enhanced to cater for virtual learning and broader coverage. Over 80,000 classrooms will be converted into smart classrooms Virtual classrooms will also be done and streamed live through smartboards in ICT-enabled schools and full ICT schools and enable interaction during the lessons.”
Mosuwe said the department still has challenges of infrastructure which had resulted into 659 learners who applied for online admission still not placed.
“The province requires 122 new schools – with 65 primary and 57 secondary schools. About 723 schools have a shortage of 5,554 classrooms, of which 3,166 are primary schools while 2,388 are secondary schools,” he said.
Committee chairperson Matome Chiloane said even though the department was facing challenges when it comes to infrastructure it was moving in the right direction.
The Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, located in Newtown, Johannesburg, is southern Africa’s largest science centre for school-going children. It is affiliated to the Gauteng department of education to support maths, science and technology education.