Feb 2016 1st Edition

Pop-up classrooms provide quick access to eLearning

Written by *Jessica Shelver
Children in the Western Cape will be receiving teaching and learning in pop-up classrooms.

This was after JP-IK (Pty) Ltd donated the classrooms to the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) for evaluation.

The donation is worth R1.2 million at R400 000 per classroom. The classrooms take about a day to erect.

JP-IK (Pty) Ltd is an international supplier of eLearning systems and has donated three technology-enabled, pop-up classrooms to support the Western Cape's eLearning initiatives.

Debbie Schäfer, the Western Cape Education MEC, received the donation on behalf of the department at an official handover ceremony held at Factreton Primary School in Maitland East recently.

The schools benefitting from the donation are Factreton Primary, Melton Primary in Eerste River and Rouxville Primary in Kuils River.

MEC Schäfer said that the donation reflected the commitment of the Western Cape Government to work in partnership with the private sector and civil society to ensure an enabling environment for eLearning.

The modular design allows for speedy construction and quick access to education technology. Each classroom includes:

  • An interactive white board.
  • A projector and stand.
  •  A teacher computer.
  •  30 x two-in-one Wi-Fi-enabled devices, desks and chairs.

The WCED's Cape Teaching and Leadership Institute and the Metro East Education District will also use the classrooms at Melton and Rouxville for teacher training and support.

The Western Cape Government is investing in eLearning as a game-changer that will improve access to quality education in all communities.

Key parts of the eLearning programme include high-speed broadband access, via a Wide Area Network (WAN) across the whole province, and Local Area Networks in schools connected to the WAN.

The WCED is developing an eLearning portal to provide access to the best possible digital materials for teaching and learning.

The Western Cape government will invest R3.8 billion over the next 10 years to bring high-speed broadband to all residents of the Western Cape.

Schools are the province’s first priority. The Western Cape government will invest R2 billion of the total investment on connectivity at schools.

Contractors will lay 581 km of fibre optic cabling by the end of 2016, alongside 1 251 km of cabling already installed.

The WCED has established 4 267 smart classrooms over the past two years in addition to refreshing computer laboratories.

The programme will also focus on teacher training and support.

Public-private partnerships will play a key role in ensuring the success of eLearning, MEC Schäfer said.

"We are blessed with a great many people of goodwill in the Western Cape, who are keen to give of their time and resources and make a difference in the lives of young people of the province."

"We are open to all good ideas and to working with like-minded organisations to make education better together in the Western Cape."


* Jessica Shelver works for the WCED.


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