School learners in the North West province will soon benefit from the Fourth Industrial Revolution with the integration of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) into the curriculum.
That's a promise from Education MEC, Mmaphefo Matsemela. She made this undertaking during her visit to Moremogolo Primary School in Phokeng ourside Rustenburg on Tuesday, where her objective was to conduct benchmarking on the school's online teaching amd learning method.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused multiple disruptions in the 2020 academic year and, in most areas, remote teaching and learning could not take place during the hard lockdown due to a lack of resources.
In response to the negative impact the pandemic had on the education system, the North West Department of Education has procured 30 292 tablets for its Grade 12 pupils and 1198 laptops for Grade 12 teachers.
This is with the aim to enhance teaching and learning, in and out of the classroom environment.
According to the department, the process of in-school and remote learning had already commenced at Moremogolo Primary School prior to the arrival of COVID-19 in the country.
MEC Matsemela said the department will provide equitable education through ICT.
“We want to see equitable education through access to ICT. The Fourth Industrial Revolution has been part of our priorities as a sector of education and we will ensure that it is realised. Our pupils should be able to access education, while at school or at home.
“I will not afford a situation this year where pupils cannot be taught due to the lockdown. As an Education Department, we should intervene strongly on that by providing our pupils with the gadgets to help them. The devices need to be loaded with educational content, and that will be followed by training of teachers and pupils on the use of these devices," the MEC said.
Matsemela said a process is already underway to ensure that all these goals are achieved.
"Already the department has established a task team to ensure that content is loaded on the tablets. Since the memory of the tablets is limited, the content will be loaded according to the stream of the pupils. These tablets are going to be part of the Learning and Teaching Supply Material (LTSM),” she said.
The MEC added that these laptops will remain school property and will be used by more pupils in the next academic year.
Moremogolo Primary School has got 110 tablets that were donated to the school and they are shared through a rotation system among learners from Grade one to seven.