ISPA Skills Training Boosts ICT Readiness Among Educators

The Internet Service Providers’ Association of SA (ISPA) embarked on its first round of computer skills training during the Easter holidays from Monday, 30 March to Friday, 3 April. A total of 120 educators from 12 schools in Limpopo were the latest recipients of beginners computer literacy training courses held over a 5-day period.

“The significant investment in education by ISPA will hopefully result in more computer literate teachers being produced and therefore more learners being able to apply for jobs that require basic computer skills. Looking to the future, more public-private partnerships in support of such initiatives should be encouraged if we are to achieve this goal collectively,” said Jenny King, chairperson of ISPA’s Teacher Training Working Group.

When benchmarked against the rest of the world, SA is slipping down the ranks in terms of ICT readiness. Factors such as inadequate funding, no access to computers for teaching and learning as well as a lack of skills training in rural areas seriously prohibit individuals from harnessing the potential of ICT. This begins to have a ripple effect on the education system and ultimately the growth of the country’s economy.

COZA Cares is the social development arm of UniForum SA, which is also funded by the organisation. With continued sponsorship from UniForum SA, the CO.ZA Registry Administrators, 100 schools across SA have been equipped with over 200 computers for teaching and learning. Inclusive of the Easter training, the joint partnership has enabled ISPA to train 1 527 educators since inception of the teacher training programme in December 2001.

Essentially, three rounds of training take place yearly with ISPA targeting different schools that desperately require computer skills training in different parts of the country each time. Further skills training is expected to commence during the winter holidays in June and July.

Facilitators from the Avuxeni Computer Academy use written instruction manuals and practical exercises to conduct training at NQF (National Qualifications Framework) standards. High-quality training is conducted on OpenOffice.org and is accredited by ISETT SETA (Information Systems, Electronics and Telecommunications Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority). NetDay Association administers the installation of computer equipment and educational software at the schools targeted for training.

“The skills we have developed as educators are life long skills. The course has shed light on how these skills will enhance our teaching, save us valuable time and better equip our students for a brighter future,” said Mr Tjale from Thomo Primary School in Limpopo, one of the host schools for the Easter training.

ISPA hosts an annual award ceremony called the Super Teacher of the Year Award which recognises educators who best impart their newly acquired knowledge to learners and their local communities. One outstanding winner is selected to secure the main prize. The Award ceremony will take place during iWeek, a premier Internet industry event, held from 2 to 4 September at The Forum in Bryanston, Johannesburg.

ISPA thanks the following sponsors for their valued support and commitment to the teacher training initiative: UniForum SA, Absa Bank, eNetworks, Snowball Effect, X-DSL Broadband, Imaginet, MTN Network Solutions, Cybersmart, Internet Solutions, Posix, SAI Futurenet and Intoweb Training.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Schools that were trained from 30 March to 03 April 2009 include the following:

LIMPOPO
Maratapelo Primary School (Host School) – 10 educators
Mahwibitsane Secondary School (Mogodumu) – 5 educators
Ditsepu Secondary School – 5 educators
Ngwanamago Primary School (Host School) – 10 educators
Leshikishiki Secondary School (Mogodumu) – 10 educators
Kgampi Primary School (Host School) – 10 educators
Mahlogedi Secondary School (Mogodumu) – 10 educators
Thomo Primary School (Host School) – 10 educators
Ditlalemeso Secondary School – 10 educators
Modibone Senior Primary School (Host School) – 10 educators
Ramabu Secondary School – 10 educators
Mmushi Senior Primary School (Host School) – 20 educators

Published: Monday, April 20th, 2009

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