Teaching educators how to best use technology is a key part of Gauteng’s investment in ICT in education. The province has committed to spending R2-billion on ICT this year.
Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says the Gauteng province has committed to a four-phased approach to ICT.
The first phase looks to connectivity and the province is in discussion with connectivity institutions to ensure all schools are connected, with access to voice, data and video.
The second phase deals with the e-learning platform and the digitisation of material. “Every year we have textbook delivery problems,” Lesufi says. “So we are focusing on e-books and how to utilise the tools that we have.”
The third phase is in the training and development of both educators and learners. This year, the provincial department will spend about R600-million on training and development, partnering with training institutions in the delivery of learning.
The fourth phase deals with the introduction of hardware to learners and teachers, with a goal of putting a device into the hands of each child in Grade 4 to Grade 9 this year; and higher grades rolling out next year.
Lesufi was speaking during a media roundtable at the African EduWeek conference being held in Sandton Convention Centre.
He also speaks out strongly for quality educators. “Quality is what determines the outcomes,” he says. “Education is the only way to fight poverty; and education starts and falls with the educators. We are determined that we need a strong army of educators.”
Under Lesufi, the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) has established an Education Innovation Database that will assist it to keep track of developments and to ensure that these are considered as part of its strategic planning.
Lesufi has issued an invitation to organisations and members of the public that have an interest or involvement in educational and technology or who have ideas or information about innovations in education, to register on the GDE’s
Education Innovation Database. Selected registered parties will be invited to make presentations to the MEC.