PRETORIA: The Department of Basic Education, in partnership with Vodacom, on Wednesday, 13 June 2012, launched the third provincial ICT Resource Centre.
The centre, the third of nine, is situated in Sunnyside, Tshwane and is expected to provide up to 1400 teachers in the district with better access to quality instruction resources and ICT.
"The establishment of this computer centre is in line with government's commitment to making schools resource rich environments that also promotes the use of modern information and communication technologies to improve maths and science teaching in the classroom," Gauteng MEC for Education Barbara Creecy said at the launch.
The centre is part of the Vodacom Mobile Education Programme which was launched last October.
The programme was developed to help the department to meet its goal of exposing a significant number of learners to ICT and to upgrade the quality of instruction by giving teachers throughout South Africa access to the highest quality teaching resources.
"Improving the quality of education is mission critical for the future of South Africa and skilled teachers are a key element of the education value chain," said Head of Innovation and Partnering at Vodacom, Portia Maurice.
The schools, buildings and teachers have been identified by the Gauteng Department of Education while all the technology elements are supplied by Vodacom and its partners.
As part of the program, the department has also identified 20 schools in the area for specific teacher training in maths and science.
The centre is connected to Vodacom's head office in Midrand through a Virtual Private Network (VPN) which serves as a pipeline for information that connects and delivers content to participating schools and teachers and provides a platform that promotes access to learning anytime and anywhere.
Maurice said through the programme teachers will have access to content, teacher aids and resources available through the cloud, and receive training in ICT skills.
The Tshwane centre has been fully equipped with a computer room housing 50 computer terminals, educational aids, internet connectivity and training facilities.
Vodacom has committed to supplying content hosting and free internet connectivity for the next three years. Connectivity includes the establishment of a controlled gateway to the Internet for each province. This will allow for easy communication among the teachers.
Leading e-learning service providers, Microsoft, Cisco and Mindset, have partnered with Vodacom to provide the centres with software, programme content, certification and training, and educational curriculum content.
These digital educational resources are hosted on the website: www.digitalclassroom.co.za