Whereas it’s easy to go online and find the prices of services and items like Jefferys Bay property or accommodation in Grahamstown, the use of technology in schooling environments is very definitely lacking.
Indeed, the use of technology in education in South Africa has been hampered by so much internal problems mainly because of a late start due to the Apartheid period.
During this time, technology and its use was limited to schools where the white population would go to. Colored, blacks, and Asians were left to fend with the most basic of curriculum and equipment. It was only in the last 10 years that South Africa began to move forward with their education.
In fact, it was only in 2002 that a real shift was being promoted towards a skills-development education that included the use of technology and computers. The biggest problem though was the lack of technology in colleges for many schools because there were not enough teachers and equipment.
A 2003 survey done on teachers who are technologically informed and educated enough to use technology for teaching show that there was more emphasis on research than in technology in education. There was also some confusion on what technology in education meant. For example even with schools that have adequate computer facilities, there weren’t enough applications or software used other than the basic processing and data worksheet software. The results of this survey led to many changes in college education.
Today, many of the country’s universities offer world-class use of technology in teaching the students how to be relevant once they graduate. The old Apartheid college curriculum was completely revamped. Smaller colleges were merged with bigger schools to form the comprehensive universities of which there are now 6. These universities offer vocational diplomas as compared to the other 11 universities which offer university degrees.
Under the 1996 Constitution and Bill of Rights, all South Africans are entitled to basic education. However the government is working hard to make sure Grade 12 students are qualified for further education. The Annual National Assessment (ANA) has been revised so it is now based on international standards. This means every Grade 12 student in South Africa should have more than just the basic ICT and exposure to technology in order to pass the ANA tests.
Last 2011, over 6 million students between the grade levels of 1 to 6 began to take their ANA tests on Math and Languages. The results show a significant need to improve math and literacy skills. In addition to improving the curriculum to include the use of technology in education, teachers are also required to upgrade their ICT skills
Action Plan 2014
Action Plan 2014 encompasses teacher training, better ANA passing results, bigger budget for education, the increase in the number of students in schools, and improving the quality of education through the use of ICT and technology. All these factors have specific numerical targets set by the government like the increase of students going for further education after Grade 12 from 100,000 to 175,000 by 2014.
The new curriculum will enforce teaching in local dialects for Grades 1 to 3 to improve learning although English will still be taught as secondary language. Students in Grades 4 to 6 will only have to learn 6 subjects instead of the old requirement of 8 subjects. Technology will be incorporated into each of the 6 subjects but more so with Science. Once a student gets to Grade 7, he or she will have 8 subjects to pass.