I arrived at a very misty, drizzly St Anne’s and was quickly transported back in time to the atmosphere the thick, refreshing mist used to create around the school, no matter the time of day. I hadn’t quite realised it was also the last day of school for the Matrics, but soon saw the evidence of the celebrations lying at the entrance to the foyer and paraphernalia dotted around elsewhere!
Last week I attended the launch for the “Post-School Access Map” at the Wits Business School, Johannesburg. The web-based resource that was launched gives information on opportunities and choices for after school, and has been developed by BRIDGE with funding and support from the Zenex Foundation.
I was inspired by how well the launch event was attended, with people from all levels within the education sector and many organisations and schools represented. It was a very focused event, which was great, as one can easily get lost and overwhelmed discussing the myriad of challenges in education, resulting in the discussion being diluted. But, the majority of the discussion was acutely focused on how to enable learners, and their support structures, to identify and pursue opportunities after school.
Today I had the opportunity to go on a excursion to Vusisizwe Secondary School in Worcester, a town about 120 km from Cape Town. The school is one sponsored by Vodacom and as such, they have access to our adaptive, online tool for learning Maths and Science. At Siyavula, we have an in-house team responsible for the “Vodacom project” in terms of managing, training and supporting the schools and teachers who have been sponsored access to Intelligent Practice.
At the end of 2014, Siyavula was involved in planning, designing and conducting training workshops for the Gr 4-9 Natural Sciences subject advisors in all 9 provinces in South Africa. I coordinated the training project from our side and learned an enormous amount, from designing training workshops, to working with different stakeholders in the education system, to delivering training and teaching concepts, to working with a diverse team, and importantly, interacting with the subject advisors and building relationships across the country.
This blog post, and the few to follow, are reflections on the training, including how it was designed and conducted, our experiences, challenges we faced and recommendations for going forward with future, similar training programmes.
Note: This post was originally published on the OKFN Open Education Working Group blog.
South Africa is a beautiful country. We have much to celebrate and be thankful for, such as our 5th democratic elections since the end of Apartheid, which took place in May this year.
But, as most people are acutely aware, both locally and internationally, although our government has one of the highest spends on education in the world, our state of education is in a crisis, and we are failing the majority of our learners, especially in rural areas.
This is a whirlwind week in South Africa’s parliament as they line up budget vote debates one after the other, following our 5th democratic general election since the end of Apartheid in 1994. I found the Daily Maverick’s pieces covering “the bits you need to know” from Day 1 and Day 2 very helpful, especially for one like me who just wants an overview.