Khanya: Motivating, Challenging and Empowering at Seaview
In a speech delivered on the occasion of the launch of the new Khanya laboratory at Seaview Primary School in Rocklands, Mitchell's Plain, MEC for Education, Cameron Dugmore, expressed his belief that through the Khanya Project learners are motivated with new information, they are confronted with new challenges and they are empowered. He added that through centres such as the one at Seaview Primary, learners are afforded the opportunity to be exposed to worlds and ideas that they would ordinarily not have access to and he challenged the learners and educators to make use of this opportunity to grow and improve their skills so that they could contribute effectively to South Africa's growing economy.
The presence of Mr Dugmore and other special guests, including Clinton Walker (Khanya Curriculum Delivery Project Manager), Mark Swartz (Khanya EMDC co-ordinator for the South EMDC) and 26 principals from surrounding schools contributed to the prestige of what was clearly a historic day in the life of this school. Guests were housed in a huge marquee, the entrance to which was lined with learners who then escorted the guests to their tables. The school choir sang and a grade 1 learner brought many to tears with his rendition of 'I love you Daddy'. The venue was officially opened by Mr Dugmore, and Beverley Job-Beziek (the Khanya facilitator at the school) then did a demonstration lesson with learners in the laboratory which was relayed onto a big screen in the marquee.
Mr Dollie, principal of Seaview Primary, delivered a moving speech in which he outlined the school's journey towards their laboratory, the obstacles they had encountered along the way and their realization that ICT in education was not merely about computer literacy but about the child experiencing the curriculum in a technologically enhanced environment. Mr Dollie indicated that while they had tried a number of avenues to realize their dream of a computer laboratory, including the establishment of a computer room with donated and outdated mismatched technology, it was only when Mark Swartz of Khanya made his first presentation to the staff at Seaview that they realized that they had found the best way to provide their young charges with the best opportunities.
As a result of the initiative, drive and determination of the staff at Seaview Primary, and their relentless search for sponsors and partners in this ICT venture, the learners at Seaview Primary can now experience Information Technology in action first hand and the bright spark of excitement in their eyes when they live that experience is reward enough for all of those who have worked so hard in the establishment of their Khanya laboratory. The staff at Seaview have very quickly come to see what a valuable teaching tool their laboratory can be and, in the words of Mr Dollie, their excitement knows no bounds.