Apr 2020 2nd Edition

Polokwane’s tech-savvy school

Written by: Silusapho Nyanda

Despite its rural location, a Limpopo primary school is unlocking the power of technology.

Pupils of a rural primary school have improved their academic results and are ahead of their peers in information and communication technology (ICT) knowledge. 

The Ntji Mothapo Primary School in Ga-Mothapo village outside of Polokwane, Limpopo, is equipped with ICT learning tools such as projectors and white boards for projecting videos and images; interactive learning boards and has internet access.

The grades R to seven school, which has 1 200 pupils, also has a high-tech computer lab that is used by all grades. Pupils of the Ntji Mothapo Primary School in Polokwane, Limpopo, scan their fingerprints when they clock in at school.

Principal Rapaledi Ngoako says the school believes the technological advancements will equip the pupils for the future academic and working environment. 

Ngoako says: “The pupils are able to see the things they are being taught. They Google things; if a teacher is talking about a lion, then they can search for that lion and see it on YouTube. They now see what a lion does in the wild. This gives them a visual of what they are learning about. Pupils also work on the interactive boards during lessons.”

The school, which has an ICT committee, recently added a biometric scanner for grade four to grade seven pupils and all the teachers as part of its ICT advancements. The biometric scanner registers when pupils arrive at the school and when they leave and this information is sent to parents or guardians.

“If a parent does not get a text saying that their child has arrived at school, they can call us and we will investigate,” says Ngoako

He says the scanner also tell them if pupils leave before the end of the school day. The school plans to buy more biometric scanners, which teachers will use to clock in and out of all school periods.

The school has also installed cameras in every class, according to Ngoako. 

With the Coronavirus that has swept through the world and infecting South Africans, Ngoako said his school has made the necessary precautions to ensure that the biometric system does not negatively impact on learners.

 When schools reopen there will be sanitisers available at the gate for pupils. 

“In addition to the hand sanitisers at the gate we will have ones next to the biometric system. The pupils will spray on their finger and on the system before they scan. We will also have sanitisers in all classes so that when pupils enter or exit a class they can sanitise their hands. 

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