The Shuttleworth Foundation has joined in partnership with Rice University in the United States to provide an online curriculum aligned with the South African school syllabus.
The ambitious project aims to provide educational material, in the form of workbooks, for all eight learning areas from grades R to nine free of charge. The material is made up of teacher guides, work schedules and supplementary information on the official curriculum.
The material will all be open source, meaning it is free of charge and can be altered at any stage, allowing more participation from teachers who use the resource.
The project will also be expanded to include mathematics and science textbooks for grades 10 to 12 at a later stage.
“We started this project because we recognized the need for a more rapid and dynamic approach to the challenges facing educators in South Africa,” says Mark Horner, the project manager at the Shuttleworth Foundation.
“It’s a sad situation but teachers are often starved for resources and we want to create a resource community that hopefully will be more effective at professional development than sitting in a lecture hall.”
Although the curriculum being used is not officially endorsed by the national department of education as it was previously a commercially available product, it is already being used in 1000 schools across the country.
The online resource does not require registration or membership, although if an educator does choose to register, the application will become interactive and they will be able to expand on the available resources themselves.
“Our hope is that the resource pool will grow as more teachers use the site,” says Horner.
Teachers interested in accessing the resource can visit the website at www.cnx.org/lenses/siyavula