wins silver award
The Western Cape Education Department’s (WCED) Telematics Project, which beams lessons via satellite technology, won silver at the 2018 Service Excellence Awards.
The Telematics Project was the runner-up in the category Best Implemented Programme/Project.
It was lauded for using satellite technology to broadcast quality teaching in order to reduce the gap between underperforming and top performing schools.
The objective was to decrease the number of underperforming schools in response to the WCED’s vision of quality education for every child, in every classroom, in every school in the province, said Dr Glynnis Schreuder, Chief Education Specialist: FET.
She added that, “When looking at the overall pass rate, the gap between Telematic schools and all WCED schools has decreased from 16,29% in 2010 to 8,8% in 2017” and there has been an improvement in learner performance in poorer communities and in rural areas.
The project has come a long way since 2008 when the WCED approached Stellenbosch University with a request to make spare capacity available on the Telematic platform for additional support to schools that had a pass rate of less than 60% in their Grade 12 final examinations. Telematic (satellite) equipment was installed in 10 schools and lessons were broadcast on Sunday afternoons. Since then it has expanded and now benefits learners in eight provinces.
The broadband internet initiative in WCED schools has now made it possible for all schools to have access to live video and audio coverage of Telematic lessons via the Internet. This is referred to as “live streaming”.
The project has been able to overcome live streaming security challenges, QR codes are integrated into workbooks and real time communication takes place between learners and presenters via WhatsApp.
Schreuder said the project has boosted the morale of school communities, capacitated presenters and teachers, and actively engaged learners after school hours.
Schools can stream the content at no cost and videos of past broadcasts are available free of charge on the Telematics Schools website. The videos cover most of the CAPS curriculum.