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A new South African product for a South African educational challenge

"Solving practical problems and learning through your mistakes and repetitive actions is the way to learn electronics and digital concepts," says Mr Jan Randewijk, ex-departmental subject adviser and author of a number of textbooks in Electrical Technology. The trouble is, as Mr Randewijk also observes: "Due to the very limited time in the school sector, learning by doing is not always possible." So what to do? Learning by doing is critical to technical development but schools have limited resources, the scarcest of which may well be time.
There is no one solution. But in an effort to assist, Pert has developed the CAPS Modules for their popular DATS electronic trainer. These boards have componentry and curriculum specifically targeted to the latest school CAPS (Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement) and are prewired to drastically reduce assembly time. This does not replace the traditional DATS breadboard experiment (that method is always available) but it streamlines an activity, because the learner performs only the main experimental tasks and avoids the detailed and painstaking circuit construction.

A new South African product for a South African educational challengeA new South African product for a South African educational challenge

This hardwire system has been around for a while but it has never been so closely aligned to curriculum, which is crucial. Educators have particularly requested a close alignment, because with such a time pressure on practical tasks, they cannot indulge in any content not specifically in the CAPS. The sequence is important too. The CAPS system was introduced to standardise instruction, so educators need to be able to synchronise the practice with content. Theoretically, and this is part of the controversial CAPS Educational philosophy, a learner could do a class in Gauteng on the Monday and then go on to do her very next class in the Western Cape on the Tuesday, even if it is a practical task.

A new South African product for a South African educational challenge
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“We provide as much teacher support as possible, including close-up photos, diagrams, student worksheets and computer simulation files,” explains Frank Horszowski, CEO of Pert, “but these boards are very practical. We have not computer interfaced them because at Pert we feel there is little didactic difference between a computer simulation and a computer interfaced to a board. We believe that the learners need to connect the physical supplies and signals themselves and also attach and use standalone instruments.”

Competence in Electrical Technology is now a prerequisite for technical fields as diverse as Biotechnology and Motor Mechanics. This new development from Pert Industrials has been specifically commissioned to address a South African shortfall in this area.

For more information please contact az.oc.trep@retep or visit www.pertindustrials.com.

23 Feb 2016 10:47