Re-Imagine Education was a talk I gave at TEDx Braamfontein last year, 2012 June 13 at DoubleShot in Braamfontein! And I think it is still relevant!
Small, intimate event - the other speakers were inspiring: Tebogo Ditshego - @ReadaBookSA, Robyn Clark - @ClarkforMaths and Waahida Tolbert-Mbatha - Khulula Foundation. We all spoke around the theme: Educational Change in South Africa
Organisers had trouble sources video equipment, but we still had a wonderful evening!
Below are the thoughts I presented - I entitled my presentation:
Re-imagine Education in South Africa
Let's re-imagine our South African education system, so all will succeed!
Such large numbers of learners requiring educational support.
How do we help these children?
What can we do to improve the educational system?
The system is failing our children.
How can we make education appropriate for each individual?
President Nelson Mandela said: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”
If we believe this, let’s begin making it happen, one step at a time!
How can we re-imagine education?
Empower the teachers with knowledge and confidence – build people up, see the positive, praise!
Encourage the children to share the knowledge they already have acquired with others
Use available technology to empower all, such as using a cellphone.
I would like to tell you about a friend of mine, Mr. Phirah Mjambo, who when I met him he was a very young enthusiastic teacher, He lives in Ngobo, the Eastern Cape,
A very poor rural area of South Africa.
He had heard about the Technology Association, and wanted to learn more about teaching technology. So he rallied other teachers together.
Many of the teachers much older than himself.
He organised transport, accommodation and registration forms for the interested group of teachers to make the long journey to Johannesburg for the two day workshops.
How excited they all where to attend!
He motivated his peers, because of a desire to learn. He achieved.
How are these teachers valued?
How do we inspire other teachers to do the same?
Another friend of mine, is a Principal, Mr. Patrick Mogowe.
I met him when he was already a principal. His school was a small rural school in Limpopo
He inspired his teachers to learn and grow!
Encouraging them to attend workshops in Johannesburg.
He arranged transport and fetched the teachers, getting up very early to be at the workshops on time,
He built up the school until it had 16 classrooms, a technology room, IT room, staff room and office block.
He involved the community, telling them why education was importance.
His school grew and became the envy of the surrounding school and shining examples for all to see.
Leadership is Key! Passion, drive and hard work, lead to success
Both, Patrick and Phirah believed in empowering teachers, using all sorts of means and against the odds to achieve their goals.
If we empower own teachers!
We will succeed!
Old ladies, who have been teaching for long time, walk into the computer room afraid and walk out feeling so proud, with such a sense of achievement.
Realising that to learn new things is possible.
We would be encouraging all to develop their knowledge and skills so that the country education system can improve
Teaching teachers to allow children to think for themselves
Encouraging young people who share their knowledge with others, to inspire others to do the same!
Assisting adults, such as a grandparent who can’t read, by taking the time to teach them.
If an older person is having trouble with sending an sms, being patient and showing them how.
At school older children have become tutors to younger children when teachers aren’t there.
Assisting peers to learn, who have dropped out of school.
Acknowledge and encouraging the children who assist others and set the example to younger children about the importance of learning and self-growth.
If we re-imagine education with Live face-to-face Distance Learning, which includes audio and visual interactive engagement.
The teacher can see and hear the children.
Children can ask the teachers questions, even-though they are miles away.
Imagine being in a really poor school environment but still being able to have exciting lessons from experienced teachers, innovative teachers?
That’s what distance learning offers our children - allowing for equal education for all
Teachers could use online Learning and e-learning during school time with learners. Or learners can do it after school in their own time, and to flip learning - research and investigation at home.
Information can be downloaded or uploaded, as the need requires.
Information could be playing an online educational game
Educational video-clips can be replayed over and over until a concept is understood without the learner feeling anxious.
Learning can suit the needs of each learner, it can be relevant and fun!
M-Learning - Children socialize and play differently, their cellphones are used to communicate with others continually, as teachers we should be using these tools more!
Our children use their cell phones to chat, take photos, make videos – why as teachers are we not using this technology to make the learning more authentic and fun!
As simple as sending smses to remind children of a homework or to adding content which children can work on a mobi site or in spaces such as MXit.
Use the technology at hand and make the learning relevant to learners interests!