As part of its campaign to introduce a modernized method of teaching to disadvantaged communities in the province, the Department of Education Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN) has launched two of the first paperless classroom schools in the province.
This forms part of the department's efforts to roll out the modernized teaching program in 54 schools within the province.
Located in the KZN township of Howick, Cosmo Primary School is among the two primary schools that have so far undergone renovations that have seen it become an example of what primary schools in the province are intended to look like future.
With ICT training for teacher training as one of its main priorities, the school also boasts modern features which include:
- Access to digital content and cloud-based learning aids and application
- Access to internet services target 10MB upload and download capabilities in all classrooms
- Replacement of all chalkboards with interactive smart whiteboards
- Media/Computer centres
- Full-Equipped smart classrooms for virtual teaching
- Digital Libraries
- Science Laboratories
- Resourcing all educators with laptops
- Training all educators in ICT in their lesson plans and delivery
Whilst attending the program launch, Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Dr Makgabo Reginah Mhaule spoke to the SABC and emphasized the importance of attending to the root of the issue by focusing on primary schools when rolling out information and communications technology (ICT):
As the department of education, we have taken a decision that now we are going to focus mainly on the foundation. And if we make the foundation stronger, we make the upper house stronger.
She continued to explain, "Then on issues of ICT, we say we are taking them to primary schools, that's why we appreciate and welcome what the province of Kwa-Zulu Natal has done to say when building primary schools we want to resources them to be ICT compliant and prepare the teachers because you cannot just make the school compliant yet teachers are still living in the old world. So we are preparing the teachers through teacher development.
Launching the 1st KZN paperless Classroom School - Cosmo Primary in Howick under Umgungundlovu District with MEC for Education, Mr @MshenguKwazi. The sector works hard to ensure that regardless of background, learners receive quality basic education right where they reside https://t.co/m3dY7dXzUG pic.twitter.com/wBga9u6lki
— Dr Makgabo Reginah Mhaule (@ReginahMhaule) June 3, 2021
Kwa-Zulu Natal MEC of Education, Kwazi Mshengu, went on to state that the safety of the school's equipment has been provided for and the surrounding community is also expected to work together with the department in keeping the school safe.
We have provided for safety features in the school, obviously I can't detail all of them, but we'll also continue to rely on the community themselves to protect these centres of development. Because without the active involvement of the communities in protecting our school, we'll continue to have schools vandalized and burglarized by criminals the necessary equipment that we have invested in these schools and selling it back to the communities at cheaper prices.
As it happened today at Cosmo Primary school located in a township In Howick. pic.twitter.com/S0BMORgag6
— Kwazi Mshengu (@MshenguKwazi) June 3, 2021