Hope for remedial schools received a boost in Pretoria recently after CoZa Cares announced that it had funded an extensive revamp of the IT systems and equipment of a special needs school in Menlopark.
The New Hope School was selected as a special CoZa Cares’ ‘School of the Month’ for January 2012. The project was completed by NetDay Association on behalf of CoZa Cares resulting in two computer laboratories being built – a Library Resources Lab and a Creative Lab – as well as two hundred and fifty computers serviced and maintained, networks checked and restored, servers set up and Internet connectivity established.
NetDay Association is a non-profit ICT organisation that specialises in technology solutions for the educational, social and enterprise development sectors. Much of its work is funded by CoZa Cares, the social responsibility arm of UniForum SA, the .ZA Central Registry Operator.
According to Fiona Wallace, Manager of CoZa Cares, UniForum SA was thrilled to choose New Hope School as one of its Schools of the Month. “Being IT literate is a valuable skill for anyone but it is especially useful for special needs learners. IT opens up a world of learning that was previously inaccessible and therein lies its value,” she said.
Ben Bredenkamp of NetDay added, “The aim of the project was to ensure that the computer facilities of the school are ready for use by the individual learners of the school. For most of these learners it is easier to type than to write. Access to the computers also ensures self-paced learning and plays a valuable role in preparing learners for the world of work. Computer literacy and being an independent learner are prerequisites of the computer age.”
New Hope School Principal Mr Harmse said, “The value in NetDay and CoZa Cares’ support lies in the fact that computers are being used by individual learners and they are therefore directly related to the quality of their learning experience. In addition, we also offer CAT as a Matric subject which means we need extensive computer support and maintenance.”
CoZa Cares is heavily involved in IT training in South Africans schools. Not only is UniForum SA a sponsor of the Mindset Learn IT training materials available at 425 South African schools, to date more than 2000 teachers countrywide have received ICT skills training through ISPA’s Train the Teacher programme, of which UniForum SA is the major sponsor. Teacher training is provided by Avuxeni Computer Academy and SchoolNet South Africa, two organisations working to help teachers, particularly in under-resourced and rural areas, to integrate their computer skills with their classroom teaching.
Learnthings Africa’s sponsorship of interactive Maths and Science e-learning material serve as an excellent resource for teachers wanting to prepare lessons that are interactive, dynamic and student-centered.
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.
New Hope School is a remedial school situated in Menlopark, Pretoria. The vision of the school is to equip learners with remedial needs to become self-sufficient and independent when they leave school. The school’s mission is to use technology in educating learners and, in so doing, deliver the best education to benefit the learners. The school has more than 400 learners.