The education community and public have for long held great expectations for the role of technology in teaching, learning, and instruction. This time, South African education department has chosen to take a step further in achieving this dream by making it mandatory for every child in the country to be conversant with the use of ICT.
The Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said on Monday that the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in SA’s schools is neither a “choice nor a luxury”.
“Every child must use ICT to learn‚” she said.
The minister reported this after South Africa accepted to join the “World Education Transformation Countries”; a programme designed to foster why and how countries at different levels of education change‚ as well as how education systems can be redefined and transformed to suite technological trend.
Speaking on this, Motshekga acknowledged the fact that the country has for some time, faced difficulties in standardizing ICT. She said:
“We all share different challenges and risks in the management of change and transformation of our education system. We have had difficulties with introducing ICTs in our educations system‚ let alone utilizing ICTs.
We are at a point where ICTs cannot be regarded as a choice nor a luxury. Every child must use ICTs to learn.”
The Minister further added that by joining the programme‚ the country would be able to work with advanced countries who have had more experience with education transformation.
To push further to actualize the dream of introducing ICT in the education system, Gauteng’s Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi announced via twitter, the introduction of online registration in his province.
The department said it had switched to online applications “to enable planning and fair distribution of pupils”
The department won the right in the high court last year to have the final say on how many and which children are placed in a school‚ in consultation with the school’s governing body.
Hence, from Tuesday next week, parents will have to apply for a place for their child at a school near their workplace or home after online registration.
Registration facilities in areas in which parents are unlikely to have access will be provided but parents will have to bring their ID‚ the child’s birth certificate and proof of their work or home address to the school.
After registration, parents will receive an SMS confirming their application and then have two weeks, from Monday next week, to apply at the school in person.
The department said it had switched to online applications “to enable planning and fair distribution of pupils”.