The Gauteng Provincial Government recently announced the launch of the e-Learning Solution aimed at allowing learners to access e-Books and grade specific curriculum content using devices (e.g. tablets, smart phones, netbooks etc.) at their convenience. The province will provide all 2200 public beneficiary schools in the province with a total of 88000 Huawei tablets. Huawei, a global Leading Information and Communications Technology (ICT) solution provider, is a proud supporter of the province’s migration to e-Learning platforms.

With the advent of significant advances in technology, and the inclusion of curricula into the ICT environment, the physical computer laboratory has been rendered obsolete. In addition, the globally preferred method of disseminating information and curriculum content has been overtaken by computer tablets. These innovations have radically revolutionised South African approaches to e-Learning, resulting in a review of the provincial government’s objectives to afford learners with an opportunity to use ICT for their everyday learning activities and provide educators with an opportunity to enhance and support their teaching through the use of ICT tools.

The solution will provide a fit-for-purpose ICT capability to support e-Learning and thinking in all learning areas for all learners and educators and provide a comprehensive set of curriculum resources, tools and information across all school grades in multiple South African languages. It will also create an enabling environment for educators and their peers to communicate across geographic boundaries to achieve the ultimate goal of enabling all learners to have access to quality education.

Through the use of specialised software packages, educator-learner encounters can be personalised, leading to the implementation of constructive interactions to maximise learning experiences. Additionally, learners can easily access libraries, instead of spending a limited amount of time every week in a physical computer laboratory.

“The notion of providing lessons on technology outside of curriculum delivery is a thing of the past. The delivery of curriculum through mobile devices, now referred to as mobile education has become part of everyday teaching and learning. To this end, we opined that exposing our learners to e-Learning techniques ought to occur at a much tender age. We therefore elected an e-Learning solution that could mediate the curriculum meaningfully, and in a sustainable manner, whilst being financially viable.” Says Phumla Sekhonyane, Head of Communications for the Gauteng Department of Education.

Although the project was anticipated to be completed in March 2014, delivery of the tablets was completed in record time, during which each public school received 40 ten-inch Huawei tablets, complete with the company’s provision of on-going maintenance and support. Huawei will outsource the training, change management, distribution, maintenance and support functions of these tablets to emerging entrepreneurs.

“Huawei is proud to be part of this initiative. By equipping learners with the latest ICT channels to access educational content, it realises our vision of nurturing ICT talent for the future. Huawei firmly believes in local empowerment and we are committed in providing opportunities to develop local talent that will form the next generation of ICT leaders.” Says Wilson Liu, CEO of Huawei South Africa.

Huawei South Africa’s vision is to ‘enrich lives through education’ through various intitives that aims to upskill local ICT talent. These initiatives include a mobile ICT centre that reaches 5 schools for disabled learners every week, bursary schemes for local universities, internship programs, and Enterprise Development programs that aim to develop young Black South Africans.