Press release: ISPA equips educators with computer skills

Published on: 2010-05-14

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The Internet Service Providers’ Association of South Africa (ISPA), UniForum SA, NetDay Association and Avuxeni Computer Academy are working together to help educators throughout South Africa – and particularly in under-resourced and rural areas – to improve their computer skills.

Representatives from the four organisations spent the day on 30 March visiting schools throughout the Mankweng and Mogudumo areas of Limpopo speaking to educators who have been reached by the programme. Schools they visited included Thogoa Senior Secondary School, Mphakayane Senior Primary School and Maribe Primary School.

ISPA is a non-profit South African Internet industry body. Recognising the growing need for computer skills training in previously disadvantaged communities, ISPA established the “Train the Teachers” Project in December 2001.

Through this initiative ISPA has assisted educators in developing their personal computer and organisational skills, knowledge and abilities. ISPA provides the sponsorship for the programme, while Avuxeni Computer Academy conducts the training. Much of the training is conducted in school computer laboratories, funded by the UniForum SA CO.ZA Cares initiative and installed by NetDay Association.

To date, schools in the Free State, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Eastern Cape and North West provinces have received computer laboratories, educational software and training. ISPA has successfully trained over 1800 educators at more than 110 under-resourced and rural schools nationwide. The teacher training programme has reached more than 400 teachers at 19 schools in Limpopo.

Through the programme, teachers learn practical computer skills that help them produce learning materials, subject plans, assessments and marks records as well as to complete administrative tasks more efficiently. They are encouraged to pass their learning on to their pupils and colleagues, and to generate further projects of benefit to their communities.

Said Chairperson, ISPA Teacher Training Working Group, Fiona Wallace: “In a highly technological, digital world, it is essential that every South African educator has access to thorough, practical training in the use of computers for teaching. ISPA is delighted once again to be sponsoring the training of 150 educators from under-resourced South African schools.”

“We believe that this intervention makes a valuable contribution to closing the gap between rich and poor schools in our country. We also look forward to announcing the SuperTeacher of the Year at ISPA’s iWeek in September. We are always astounded at the quality of the dedicated and innovative teachers that our training initiative unearths. We believe that recognising and nurturing good teachers will benefit learners and other educators, as their positive influence ripples through our schools and communities,” said Wallace.

ISPA hosts an annual award ceremony called “The SuperTeacher of the Year” Award where one outstanding educator is selected from a number of selected finalists to secure the main prize. The 2010 award ceremony will be hosted at iWeek, a premier Internet industry event, to be held this year from 15 to 17 September at Kloofzicht, Cradle of Humankind.

The 2010 SuperTeacher of the Year and the two runners-up will receive laptop computers as well as full sponsorship to attend the eSchools’ Network annual conference in Cape Town from 26 to 28 September 2010. Every educator who has participated in the ISPA training is eligible to be considered by the selection committee for this prestigious award.

Previous winners of the award are Mr George Mokhetle, 2007 winner from Toronto Primary in Limpopo Province; Miss Naomi Gumede, 2008 winner from Ezisibeni Secondary in Free State; and Mr Jimmy Lesibe Rawane, 2009 winner from Thomo Primary in Limpopo.

Further Information

For further information, please contact the ISPA secretariat on the Contact ISPA page.