Progress is being made in the implementation of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in Education segment of South Africa’s Operation Phakisa, the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) said on Friday.
Implemented by the Department of Basic Education (DBE) in 2015, and monitored and evaluated by DPME, Operation Phakisa for ICT in Education consists of five work streams, namely connectivity, devices, teacher professional development, digital content development and distribution and e-administration.
“We have seen the significance of ICT in Education in the way it has simplified learning,” said Deputy Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Youth Development and Administration Buti Manamela.
Most provinces have provided ICT sector plans and aligned them with the Operation Phakisa Framework, which allowed the DBE to track the progress of ICT implementation and the strides made towards making ICT a primary tool of teaching and learning.
Since inception, the targeted 2 425 schools to be connected had been surpassed, with around 2 430 schools connected by the end of September 2016.
Each school’s connectivity solution includes a mobile trolley with 24 tablets for learners, three laptops for teachers, two printers and one projector, server, wireless access point and e-Beam.
Milestones in digital content provision have also been achieved, including a DBE Channel now available to 951 schools through a variety of broadcast platforms, through partnerships with DStv, OVHD, StarSat and Mindset.
“The learner component of the DBE Cloud is now live and online. It is being upgraded continuously and new content is being loaded daily,” the DPME said.
The department noted the creation of 120 digital titles and subject workbooks for grades 4 to 12 in Natural Sciences, Technology, Physical Science and Mathematics.
The DBE has also supplied interactive workbooks for Grade 1.
Further, under the teacher professional development aspect of the Phakisa, 258 district officials were upskilled in ICT through partnerships with Intel and Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services.
Partnerships with the Education, Training and Development Practices Sector Education and Training Authority and Microsoft resulted in the training of a further 6 394 teachers in ICT integration skills; 21 375 teachers in basic computing skills and 3 517 in advanced ICT skills.