Melia Moeketsi is still ecstatic after she received this year’s ‘Super Teacher of the Year’ award.
The award is an initiative of UniForum South Africa and the Internet Service Providers’ Association of South Africa (ISPA). UniForum administers and maintains the CO.ZA domain.
Moeketsi, a grade one teacher at Maribe Primary School in Segope, Limpopo, beat her competitors after she successfully imparted her technological skills to her colleagues, learners and local community members.
Like most teachers in rural areas, Moeketsi did not know how to use a computer but when ISPA started to train them, she decided to embrace technology as part of the learning environment, she explained. She produced a computer project that was considered innovative.
“The adjudicators were impressed with my model and I then adopted it to teach my colleagues, learners and the community on how to use a computer,” said Moeketsi
Fiona Wallace, UniForum’s corporate social investment manager, said ISPA has set up a ‘Train the Teacher’ project to provide basic computer skills to teachers like Moeketsi as a way of giving back to the communities. “ISPA recognized a need for computer skills training. It recognized that hardware alone is not an answer but training of teachers is,” said Wallace.
She said UniForum has increased its support to the teacher training project by R500 000 which will enable them to train 190 teachers in 2011. Wallace said this year they trained 132 teachers with a sponsorship to the value of R330 000.
She said the project has benefited about 2 000 participating teachers who have acquired practical computer skills, enabling them to produce learning materials, subject plans, assessment and recording marks as well as performing basic administrative functions.
Training is provided by Avuxeni Computer Academy and SchoolNet, both members of ISPA.
The training comes in the wake of the Department of Basic Education adopting Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as part of its strategy to enhance the delivery of curriculum content at schools. Through a multi-million project called the Teacher Laptop Initiative, teachers will receive a subsidy for the purchase of computers installed with the necessary software to improve their classroom teaching.
For more information on the training project contact Fiona Wallace at: 083 356 2505 or e-mail her at: [email protected]