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Enhancing science and IT learning in rural South Africa

May 28, 2018 • Education, Southern Africa

Enhancing science and IT learning in rural South Africa

Enhancing science and IT learning in rural South Africa.

Mochudi Secondary School in Rural North West, South Africa has become the beneficiary of a mobile science and IT Lab which is designed to help teachers and pupils.

Many of the rural schools in South Africa need resources that reflect the futuristic innovation that will positively change lives. The challenge and responsibility to achieve this does not lie only with government but requires involvement by all key stakeholders, especially corporates in South Africa.

It is expected that PPC’s donation of the lab will help the school with the improvement of science teaching and learning, and consequently improve pass rates.

“Pupils want to use technology and prepare themselves for the digital world. As a school, we appreciate this initiative because it addresses one of the pressing needs in our community, particularly practical exposure to science and technology. The resources will greatly enhance the learners’ comprehension of science as a subject. Lessons will become more interesting and practical as teachers will use the lab to conduct practical scientific experiments,” said Mr Jaabosigo, Principal at Mochudi Secondary School.

The initiative renders the location irrelevant as it closes the gap between rural and urban education. This initiative empowers the teacher while also allowing pupils to “get involved” in digital experiences by bringing educational content to “life” and creating experiences that were previously difficult to access.

The lab contains the necessary and essential tools to enhance the learning and teaching experience for both teachers and learners. It contains chemicals, equipment and other teaching aids, as well as a full IT system provided by Diebold Nixdorf, PPC’s partner in the project. The IT system provides bespoke software that comes handy for science teachers and pupils. It also boasts a full audio-visual capability, including surround sound for the screening of videos to enhance the learning experience.

“It is now common knowledge that high performance in maths and science are vital in producing individuals with the right skills to prosper in the evolving economy. The mobile science lab thus supports government’s strategic initiative to improve outcomes in these key subjects,” said Johan Claassen, PPC CEO.

The handover of the lab forms part of ongoing initiatives planned to benefit schools countrywide. To date, over 10 000 learners have already been positively impacted, opening new career paths for learners to become South Africa’s next generation of engineers, scientists and technicians.

“To give you a sense of the impact this initiative is making, Last year, for example, we gave a lab similar to this to a school in Hammanskraal and the pass rate in science more than doubled in the first year, and now stands at 83%. We have no doubt that, as the teachers develop new ways of using the labs more effectively, the sky will literally be the limit, ” Claassen added.

This initiative is done in partnership with the Department of Basic Education. The latter enables the company to monitor outputs of every lab that is donated. This ensures that the initiative doesn’t stop with the handover. PPC uses the results to offer bursaries to deserving matriculants from participating schools who want to pursue careers in various relevant fields.

Edited by Fundisiwe Maseko
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