Project aims to help pupils prepare for changing world
A talk by trends analyst, journalist and former fashion editor Dion Chang on the age of digitisation – and how young people should prepare themselves for a working world where change is the only constant – was a fitting way to launch a new hi-tech maths, science and English project in Nelson Mandela Bay on Tuesday evening.
The project, a partnership between the Zenex Foundation and the Eastern Cape Department of Education, is being implemented at 10 disadvantaged Bay schools.
“What skills are needed for a new world order?” Chang asked.
“The two most important skills that are missing are critical thinking and problem solving.We are seeing a new HR mantra: hire for attitude, retrain for skills.”
Chang was the keynote speaker at the launch of the R25-million, fiveyear project, which will use modern technology to improve teaching, learning and pass rates and prepare pupils for the highly digitised, sprintpaced 21st century working world.
The project was introduced in April at the Bethelsdorp, Cowan, Chapman, Ethembeni, KwaMagxaki, Masiphatisane, Motherwell, Molly Blackburn, Newton Technical and Westville high schools.
“Our research shows we need to address a number of challenges in the way maths and science are taught in order to make a tangible difference in the outcomes for learners,” Zenex Foundation chair Thandi Orleyn said.
The project involves coaching school management, training teachers in subject content and providing direct support to pupils.
Implementing partners include the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s Govan Mbeki Mathematics Development Unit.
The unit has developed a technology- linked teaching and learning model, aligned with the CAPS curriculum for maths and science for Grades 10 to 12, which is available on laptops for teachers (as a teaching resource), tablets for selected pupils (as a personal, after-school tutor) and desktop computers (to form a resource lab at the schools).
The model includes video lessons, animated PowerPoint presentations, science experiments, a calculator support video, self-assessment with immediate feedback, past exam papers and interactive language support.
New Leaders Foundation is providing schools with an information management system, which synthesises and analyses data.
Other implementing partners include Partners for Possibility, Tsebo Education Network and English specialists Sally Potgieter and Angela Schaf fer.