With the construction of the Hazyview Digital Learning Center now firmly underway, we thought we’d tell you a little bit more about this project and what it means for the future of education in South Africa and rural communities surrounding Londolozi.
The Digital Learning Centre which will be managed by the Good Work Foundation (GWF) will focus on those individuals that have left the school system early or mature students who have not been able to obtain further education due to economic and other constraints. The education programmes will run parallel to the schooling systems and create access to world-class education for rural learners. In addition, learners will obtain practical skills preparing them for the world of work and allowing them to compete in a global environment. This initiative will also aim to provide critical skills such as IT, Tourism and English to the community of Hazyview and surrounding areas in the Mpumalanga Province.
The GWF is committed to bringing positive educational interventions to rural South African communities. Through the foundation’s education initiatives it assists and promotes the transformation that needs to take place in South Africa.
“The partnership between T-Systems in South Africa and the Good Work Foundation is creating a Digital Learning Centre that will be the first of its kind in South Africa, changing the way we approach education in our country,” says Dave Varty, (CEO of Londolozi Game Reserve and Trustee of the Good Work Foundation).
The establishment of this Digital Learning Centre also falls in line with South African Minister for Basic Education, Blade Nzimande’s recently introduced green paper on post-school education and training which recommends expansion in all post-school institutional types – Further Education Training (FET) colleges, universities, adult education facilities and workplace-based training;
The paper proposes an increase in FET college enrollments from 400 000 to four million in 20 years.
The primary sponsor of the project is T-Systems who have donated R3.7 funding sponsorship for establishment of this world-class Digital Learning Centre in Hazyview. This founding sponsorship will go towards the start-up of the centre, the provision of HR and resources as well as curriculum alignment and assistance to ensure the centre meets the highest training standards.
Says Gert Schoonbee, MD of T-Systems in South Africa:
“The Hazyview Digital Learning Centre will offer those individuals that have fallen through the cracks of the educational system a second chance to obtain the skills necessary to find employment and realise a better of quality of life. The centre underscores the goals of our Sustainable Enterprise Development programme which is to invest in a project that positively contributes to skills development in South Africa’s rural areas.”
The Hazyview Digital Learning Centre aims to use appropriate and renewable energy resources such as solar power to meet its daily energy requirements, as well as harvesting of water and the use of a gray water system, contributing to the overall sustainability of its operations.
Emphasising the centre’s commitment to educational excellence, it will employ retired educators who offer years of critical experience. These educators will work with and mentor young local educators. In addition, the Hazyview Digital Learning Centre will utilise relevant, accredited teaching programmes such as ABET, Molteno Project Method, Lets Sell Lobster and ICDL.
The centre is also aligned with T-Systems’ Cida City Campus ICT Academy curriculum and it is hoped to establish The Digital Learning Academy as a bona fide satellite campus in the near future.
“We will endeavour to stay abreast of new training initiatives while constantly looking at ways to digitalise additional or new training courses. The advantages of online training are considerable as it allows the centre to draw in more students at a reduced cost as well as offer a variety of courses,” adds van der Schoonbee.
The Hazyview Digital Learning Centre is set to launch in June 2012. To keep updated on the progress of this incredible education initiative and to play your part in doing good work, subscribe to the Londolozi and Good Work Foundation Blogs, Like Us on Facebook and visit the Good Work Foundation’s website find out more.