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Wednesday, 10 April, 2002
eLearning will 'reshape education process' in the W Cape
Statement by André Gaum, Western Cape Minister of Education.
The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) is implementing various strategies to ensure that the province realises the full potential of information and communication technologies in education.
These "eLearning" strategies will reshape the education process in the Western Cape. They include:
Khanya's long-term target is to enable every teacher in every school in the Western Cape to use appropriate and available technology to ensure effective and efficient curriculum delivery.
It will take a long time to achieve this goal, and will require considerable resources. We plan to reach this target by the start of the 2012 academic year.
In the meantime, we are starting where the need is greatest and where we are most likely to achieve results.
We are therefore focusing our attention on well-managed schools in poor areas, where new technology will make the most difference to the lives of our teachers and learners.
We will be able to deliver curriculum to a certain extent to almost every school by the end of 2002, via the internet and email.
However, Khanya's objectives are much broader than basic, electronic communication, and involve the whole education process. Khanya's activities to date are already starting to reshape the way we approach teaching and learning.
The stated goal of Khanya is to promote learning and to maximise educator capacity by integrating the use of appropriate, available and affordable technology into the curriculum delivery process. The objectives are to:
Eventually, all schools in the province will be reached involving:
Currently (April 2002) computer laboratories have been implemented (or are in the final stages of implementation) in 130 schools (about 60% High Schools and 40% Primary Schools).
The costs of our installations can vary from R50 000 to R500 000, depending on specific requirements.
A networked computer laboratory of 25 workstations, complete with education software, can cost about R500 000. This would include peripheral equipment, air-conditioning, upgrading electricity supplies, security and custom-built, stable furnishing.
In some cases computers have also been implemented in class rooms (typically four computers per class room) since it is believed that the real value of technology will be realised once curriculum delivery is fully integrated with the use of technology.
A sub-project, the "Alternative Technology" project is continuously searching more efficient and affordable models and currently the thin-client model is considered for future implementations. Thin-client models involve placing computing power in networking servers rather than in workstations. Workstations do not have to be stand-alone computers.
One of the focus areas of the project is on Public-Private Partnerships, whereby sponsors and donors are invited to participate in the project. In this way the private sector can make their contribution to ensure that they will have an educated work force over the next few decades.
Khanya's other sub-projects include:
The WCED launched Khanya in 2001. Lessons learnt to date include the following:
Our installations to date have generated considerable excitement and support in our schools and local communities. eLearning will play an increasingly important role in improving access to quality education in the Western Cape.Issued by:
The Communications Directorate
Western Cape Education Department
Private Bag X9114
Cape Town 8000
Tel: (021) 467-2531
Fax: (021) 467-2363
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