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Media Release

16 February, 2007

BCM Focus Schools Conference

The Western Cape Education Departmentís (WCED) eight Business, Commerce and Management (BCM) focus schools are attending an exciting, hands-on conference with curriculum officials, lecturers, final year business student teachers from universities and representatives from the world of business.

Education MEC Cameron Dugmore will deliver the keynote address tomorrow morning (08h00) at the conference, which takes place at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (Bellville Campus) ICT Conference centre; it has started this morning (Friday 16 February) and ends tomorrow afternoon.

This initiative is part of the WCEDís overall strategic Human Capital Development Strategy, which seeks to produce young people with relevant skills and knowledge, to grow the economy and build communities.

Today the focus falls on creating a forum for networking between organised business and these BCM focus schools in the interest of providing a mutually beneficial partnership between these schools and businesses.

The eight focus schools will each report on the progress in their schools over the past year, which will include such issues as the addition of new classrooms; ICT laboratories; interactive whiteboards in classrooms; the building of teacher capacity through of the attendance of computer literacy courses; accounting bridging courses; as well as Advanced Certificate of Education (ACE) courses in Accounting and Business Management.

Different speakers will deliver insightful views on a range of topics, which will include Ms Jenny Rault-Smith, Director: WCED Curriculum Development (History, Vision and Mission of BCM focus schools), Mr Albert Schuitmaker on behalf of the Cape Regional Chamber of Business and Die Afrikaanse Handels Instituut (public-private partnerships), Mr Reza Bardien of Microsoft SA (innovative use of technology in education) and Mr Alan Mills, Africa Manager of the Specialist Schools and Academy Trust of the United Kingdom.

The Saturday programme will focus on programme of the most current ICTs, which can be effectively integrated in teaching, learning and assessment in schools.

A total of 15 presentations, of which conference participants can select a combination of their personal choices, will be presented by outside service providers, such as Microsoft SA (demonstrations on Windows Vista and Office 2007), Pastel and Quickbooks (Accounting software packages), Rubricate, ICDL, NetOp School, Khanya, Intel teach to The Future, Edit Microsystems (interactive whiteboard lessons and data conferencing), Banango Traders (business game simulation), VTC (computer-based training software), and video-conferencing by AdobeReader Connect.

The eight BCM Focus Schools attending the conference are: Berg River High (Wellington), Bernadino Heights High (Kraaifontein), Bridgton Secondary (Oudtshoorn), Elsies River High (Elsies River), Esselen Park High (Worcester), Gardens Commercial (Cape Town), ID Mkize Secondary (Gugulethu) and Zola Business School (Khayelitsha).

The Three Young Tenors of Gugulethu and a brass band of the Frank Pietersen Music Centre provide entertainment.

For enquiries, contact Gert Witbooi 082 550 3938.

Issued by:
Paddy Attwell
Director: Communication
Western Cape Education Department
Tel: 021 467 2531
Fax: 021 461 3694
Email: pattwell@pgwc.gov.za

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