The Vodacom Mobile Education Programme is a nationwide teacher development initiative to improve the quality of instruction in all subjects at every level, with particular emphasis on Mathematics, Mathematical Literacy and Physical Science in Grades 10 to 12. The teacher professional development training focuses on ICT Literacy, as well as the effective use and integration of digital content in the classroom.
To support the training, educators are provided with the necessary ICT infrastructure and tools. The programme is being rolled out in partnership with the Department of Basic Education, Microsoft, Mindset Learn and Cisco. Also a number of educational publishers have come on board to deliver (digital) content for both the Teacher Centres and the Digital Classroom portal.
Teacher development is crucial to improving education in South Africa: the Department of Basic Education has found the country has 10 000 underqualified and 20 000 unqualified teachers in need of further education and training, to improve the quality of learning in schools.
In a bid to address this need, the department has launched a nationwide training initiative to improve teachers’ computer literacy. This was first rolled out in 2011 as a Proof of Concept to one schooling district in each of South Africa’s nine provinces. From early 2014 the Programme includes 40 Teacher Centres and will be further extended to 60 Teacher Centres by the end of 2014.
The Vodacom Foundation aims to help teacher development and make a meaningful contribution to education in South Africa by developing the content knowledge and pedagogical skills of educators, with information and communication technology from the Vodacom portfolio playing a supporting role.
To ensure the sustainability of this contribution, the Vodacom Foundation is working closely with the Department of Basic Education in the department’s teacher training initiative.
The Vodacom Mobile Education Programme has four components: the Vodacom Teacher Centres, the web-based Vodacom Digital Classroom education portal, the Vodacom Mobile Educatoin Virtual Private Network and the Vodacom Mobile Education Training Programme.
Vodacom Teacher Centres
Working in close cooperation with provincial and district education officials, Vodacom has connected and equipped 40 Teacher Centres across South Africa. These centres will be the hub of the district’s teacher-training programme, and will be outfitted with a computer classroom and an internet café. Vodacom has contracted SchoolNet SA, a non-profit training company specialising in using technology in education, to provide ICT centre management training and continuing support.
The Vodacom Foundation looks to build further on the established platform, enhancing the overall Vodacom Mobile Education Programme and the individual pillars, to ensure the continued contribution to teacher development. Parties interested in participating in this exciting programme are invited to submit their ideas and suggestions.