Pop-up classrooms provide quick access to eLearning

Statement by Debbie Schafer, Western Cape Minister of Education: Pop-up classrooms provide quick access to eLearning.

An international supplier of eLearning systems has donated three technology-enabled, “Pop-Up” classrooms to support the Western Cape’s eLearning initiatives.

JP-IK (Pty) Ltd has donated the classrooms to the Western Cape Education Department for evaluation.

Debbie Schäfer, Western Cape Education Minister, received the donation on behalf of the department at an official handover ceremony at Factreton Primary School in Maitland East today (Wednesday, 25 November 2015).

The schools benefitting from the donation are Factreton Primary, Melton Primary in Eerste River, and Rouxville Primary in Kuils River.

Minister Schäfer said that the donation reflected the commitment of the Western Cape Government to work in partnerships with the private sector and civil society to ensure an enabling environment for eLearning.

She thanked JP-IK for their generosity and willingness to allow the department to experiment with this method of eLearning delivery.

The modular design allows for rapid construction and quick access to education technology. Each classroom includes:

  • an Interactive white Board,
  • a projector and stand,
  • a teacher computer
  • 30 x two-in-one wi-fi enabled devices, desks and chairs.

The donation is worth R1,2 million, at R400 000 per classroom. The classrooms take about a day to erect.

The WCED’s Cape Teaching and Leadership Institute and the Metro East Education District will also use the classrooms at Melton and Rouxville for teacher training and support.

The Western Cape Government is investing heavily in eLearning as a game-changer that will improve access to quality education in all communities.

Key parts of the eLearning programme include high speed broadband access, via a Wide Area Network (WAN) across the whole province, and Local Area Networks in schools connected to the WAN.

The WCED is developing an eLearning portal to provide access to the best possible digital materials for teaching and learning.

The WCG will invest R3.8 billion over the next 10 years to bring high-speed broadband to all residents of the Western Cape.

Schools are the province’s first priority. The WCG will invest R2 billion of the total investment on connectivity at schools.

Contractors will lay 581 km of fibre optic cabling by the end of 2016, alongside 1251 km of cabling already installed.

The WCED has established 4 267 smart classrooms over the past two years, in addition to refreshing computer laboratories.

The programme will also focus heavily on teacher training and support.

Public/private partnerships will play a key role in ensuring the success of eLearning, Minister Schäfer said.

“We are blessed with a great many people of goodwill in the Western Cape, who are keen to give of their time and resources and make a difference in the lives of the young people of the province.”

“We are open to all good ideas and to working with like-minded organisations to make education better together in the Western Cape.”