Jul 2021 1st Edition

Partnership helps develop e-learning

Written by Kgaogelo Letsebe

An information and community technology (ICT) multimedia centre has been launched by government and the MTN SA Foundation to assist learners with e-learning, including those who are visually impaired. Higher Education, Science and Innovation Deputy Minister Buti Manamela at the newly unveiled ICT centre in Limpopo.

Higher Education, Science and Innovation Deputy Minister Buti Manamela and the MTN SA Foundation unveiled the centre at Sekhukhune Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College in Motetema, Limpopo, recently.

The 40-seater multimedia centre includes a refurbished lecture room, individual workstations, interactive whiteboards with accessories, offline digitised educational content and interactive learning content.

Speaking at the launch, Deputy Minister Manamela said the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) forced the department to reimagine the functioning of public academic institutions.

“The COVID-19 outbreak continues to disrupt teaching and learning in the post-school education and training (PSET) system.

“This requires not only the evolution of online learning, but also a revolution to bridge the digital divide in learning and establishing ICT support at colleges for learners with special needs,” he said.

The Deputy Minister added that it is important that ICT resources meet the specific needs of learners and students.

“Our intention is to make sure that no student gets left behind during these turbulent times of the pandemic.

“We also seek to find a sustainable long-term strategy that ensures that the PSET sector does not revert to pre-COVID-19 status in relation to access to online resources by students and lecturers.”

This is the second multimedia centre launched through the partnership.

Earlier this year, a 20-seater multimedia centre was unveiled at Vhembe TVET College’s Makwarela Campus in Sibasa, Limpopo. It caters for deaf, blind and partially sighted students to help them develop digital skills.

Kusile Mtunzi-Hairwadzi, the General Manager of the MTN SA Foundation, said: “The foundation, through various initiatives, aims to bring the power of technology and a connected life to those most in need by contributing to the national quality of teaching and learning.

“This support includes installations of multimedia centres and [the provision of] much-needed e-learning material to rural townships, no-fee-paying and special needs schools.”

Deputy Minister Manamela appealed to the community to take care of the new multimedia centre.

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