Since the beginning of the year, the Trevor Noah Foundation, Microsoft SA Philanthropies, and Edunova partnered to implement an e-learning solution that supports educational change at the Trevor Noah Foundation’s Khulani School partners.
On Friday, 18 June 2021, we celebrated the fruition of this partnership at the launch of one of three Khulani Schools Learning Centres at Siyabonga Secondary School. We were pleased to hear from:
- John Thole, CEO of Edunova;
- Jude Capel, Project Manager at Edunova;
- Charlene Verzmoter, Philanthropies MEA Regional Coordinator at Microsoft SA Philanthropies;
- Jabu Kunene, Principal at Eqinisweni Secondary School;
- Rachel Mkhonza, Deputy Principal at Siyabonga Secondary School; and
- Shalane Yuen, Executive Director of Trevor Noah Foundation.
We also thank Elizabeth Motsamai from the Department of Basic Education and members of the Executive Committee of the School Governing Body from Siyabonga Secondary for their attendance.
Grade 12 learners had the opportunity to test out the centre by completing an interactive activity facilitated by their ITEs (Information Technology Enablers) and present their findings. The demonstration displayed the essence of the Learning Centres – creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking.
“What do we want kids to do with technology? We want them to use it as a tool, not an outcome.” – John Thole, CEO of Edunova.
What is a Learning Centre?
In a country like South Africa, where many learners still have their basic education affected by restricted access to the internet, the Learning Centres provide much-needed relief. They equip schools with the digital resources they require for effective learning.
The centres are more than a physical space with computers. They are technology-rich, modern integrated workspaces geared towards enabling 21st-century learning. The room is open plan with a modern look and feel, making them the ultimate vehicle to facilitate collaborative training, support, and access to both physical and conceptual technological and educational resources.
“Our kids don’t want to read books anymore, but when you put them on a computer screen, it changes everything.” – Ms Rachel Mokonza, Deputy Principal at Siyabonga Secondary School.
Use of the Learning Centres
Each centre will run after-school programmes that include, but are not limited to:
- Language club
- STEM (Mathematics and Science) club
- Coding clubs
- Digital Art and Graphic Design
- Community Training
The Edunova ITEs, with the support of an ICT Coordinator, will manage the programmes by making use of a timetable set up by its school ICT committee. This timetable will meet and support the curriculum needs within the school and help improve educational outcomes.
The Learning Centre will also serve as a resource facility that enables training and support for teachers. A key objective is to empower school leaders and teachers to adopt and use technology effectively in the classroom.
“‘BBT’ means Born Before Technology. We need to move forward, but it must start with us Principals. We can pump in resources, but it will not work if teachers are not moving with the technology.” – Mr Jabu Kunene, Eqinisweni Secondary School Principal.
Beyond the Classroom
Launched in 2018, the Trevor Noah Foundation’s Khulani Schools Programme contributes to inclusive and equitable access to quality education. In close collaboration with the government, the surrounding community, and implementation partners, we empower and enhance our Khulani Schools’ capacity for educational excellence by investing in school governance, teacher training and support, learner skills development, and infrastructure.
In partnership with Microsoft SA Philanthropies over the years, the Foundation provided training to learners and teachers to improve digital skills while enabling educators to enhance learning through technology. With Edunova, this particular initiative aims to impact 150 teachers, 4500 learners, and over 3000 community members across three schools.
“We are here to empower our schools and communities through education, skills development and training, and we couldn’t be more excited about the growth we now see.” – Shalane Yuen, Executive Director of the Trevor Noah Foundation.