It’s been over ten years since The Good Work Foundation (GWF) created its first digital learning lab in the Londolozi village, experimenting with the opportunities of education technology in rural South Africa.
But a lot has happened since then…
In fact, we now talk about the “Hazyview Cluster” – a pioneering circuit of six digital learning campuses (hugging the western boundary of the Greater Kruger National Park) that plans to create access to digital education for 26,500 rural South African people.
The Hazyview Cluster’s largest campus is the Hazyview Digital Learning Campus located in the peri-urban outskirts of Hazyview in South Africa’s Mpumalanga Province. Its existence allowed us to create satellite digital learning campuses in deep rural communities (Justicia village in 2016, Huntington in 2017, and now Lillydale in 2018).
The launch of digital learning campuses in Dumphries and Dixie in 2019 will mean that, once fully operational, a network of six campuses will provide access to digital learning programmes to 26,500 scholars and youth from the communities on the western border of the Greater Kruger National Park.
Pre-schools, primary schools and high schools in each village will plug into their nearest digital learning campus’s Open Learning Academy (together with their teachers) and every year young adults or “school-leavers” will be able to apply to the Bridging Academy where the skills-development modules focus on digital, English and work-readiness.
We are excited. But we are also humbled. The Hazyview Cluster is a proof of concept; a vision that a collaboration between NGO, government (the Mpumalanga Department of Education), business and community can operate strategically to build education interventions that look out towards the year 2030 and beyond.
In addition to Londolozi Private Game Reserve, GWF’s founding partner and lead sponsor of the Hazyview Digital Learning Campus, eight world-renowned Sabi Sand private game reserves have created a web of resilience around the Hazyview Cluster’s satellite digital learning campuses, giving this group of campuses a solid foundation to create more equitable access to digital-era education (and all of its opportunities) well into the future.
These private game reserves include Dulini Private Game Reserve, Lion Sands Game Reserve, Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve, Inyati Private Game Reserve, Singita, Ulusaba Private Game Reserve, Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve and Silvan Safari.
Furthermore, the Sabi Sand Wildtuin outreach programme, under the auspices of the Sabi Sand Pfunanani Trust, has endorsed the Hazyview Cluster and committed itself as a strong supporter and collaborator, including using the campuses to extend community-wide invitations for participation.
This is a truly remarkable line up of tourism-based project enablers and, as a collective, we are excited to connect the benefits of South Africa’s tourism industry to the future of digital learning and jobs in one of our country’s most remote areas. This is truly a “Silicon Bushveld” collaboration.
On behalf of the team at GWF, we would like to extend our thanks to all the lodges in the Sabi Sands who have come together as a collective force committed to ensuring that this vision becomes a reality. We also want to thank the visitors of those lodges, many of whom share our vision that the future of learning in the world must urgently be reimagined. We will always believe in that mission!