For those of you who have visited Londolozi, I am going to take you outside the gates and into rural South Africa for just a minute. I want to introduce you to a concept that will blow your mind (and is also on the brink of changing the face of education in Southern Africa).
There is a primary school in the semi-urban town of Shabalala, not far from the gates of the Sabi Sand Wildtuin. 1400 students. 14 classrooms.
Some learning takes place outside in the schoolyard, but imagine up to 100 students per class and imagine one teacher in that one class.
Notwithstanding challenges such as the student-teacher ratio, there is also an urgent need to get these kids digitally literate. Rural educators feel that pressure. For the principle of the school, apart from budget, the problem is threefold:
- With so little space, where do you put a computer lab?
- How do you secure the computer lab?
- How are you going to train your teachers to facilitate digital learning, when many of them are not digitally literate themselves?
Today, there is a solution.
Why can’t the principle of the school “outsource” digital literacy to a high-tech digital learning centre or “Hub” in his town? The Hub is full of the latest technology – tablets, apps, computers, educational software and digital screens.
But it’s also full of digital facilitators. Adults from the community trained in self-organised learning environments. Trained in maximising learning using technology as a tool.
Teachers of the future implementing learning techniques pioneered at Stanford University.
Good Work Foundation is in the eleventh month of an “Open Learning Academy” pilot designed to increase access to digital. The model proposes that each Hub can support five satellite schools, 50 teachers and 5000 students. Last week the fourth local school and the 1000th student “plugged” in to Good Work Foundation’s Hazyview Digital Learning Centre.
Many of our readers “met” GWF when they first started managing our small Digital Learning Centre here at Londolozi. Today GWF is on the brink of revolutionising the way we look at education on the African continent. And that’s just the beginning.
Before you sign off – here’s how friends of Londolozi can join our mission.
Londolozi Rangers, James Tyrrell and Pete Fleck, are on a mission to raise R300,000 for Good Work Foundation. They have entered the six-day, 250 kilometre RacingThePlanet’s Roving Race which will start on August 31st in Madagascar.
All monies raised will go towards GWF’s mission to bring digital, maths and English literacy to every child in rural South Africa.
Friends of Londolozi who would like to contribute towards GWF’s pioneering vision can contribute by sponsoring James and Pete on their race through Madagascar. It’s easy – if you are American and require a 501 c 3 tax certificate, click here. Donors from the rest of the world can click here. (Select “RunMadagascar Fundraiser” as the Project). If you would like to pledge an amount, or you would like to get involved in any other way (including corporate pledges), please email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
We would also like your help in sharing this story – click on the “share” button below and share this story across Facebook, Twitter and email. To find out more and see James and Pete in action, watch the video below: