Starling Primary bridges the digital gap – Athlone News, 4 August 2010
Starling Primary is bridging the digital divide with the Western Cape Education Department’s Khanya Project donating 12 Apple laptops and other digital equipment to the school.
The Rylands primary school is taking part in a pilot project run by Khanya to research the use of Apple technology in the curriculum, particularly for arts and culture schools.
Chas Ahrends, special projects manager for Khanya, said the pilot project is to research how effective curriculum delivery to pupils can be by using Apple computers.
The school received 12 Apple laptops, a data projector, a video camera and free training to the value of over R200 000 donated by Khanya.
Starling Primary is one of seven primary schools taking part in the pilot project which has been called “Apple in a box” and has lessons that are integrated with the curriculum.
Principal, Raj Rajkumar, said staff members are ‘elated’ to be part of the project.
“I’m over the moon. Many of the children attending the school are underprivileged and do not have access to computers at home. In this way we can bridge the gap,” he said.
Because there are 12 computers, pupils are divided into teams of three to four and are given a laptop to complete tasks for the lesson.
Joanne Anderson, who instructs the teachers and pupils, said that if she could use one word to describe her experience, it would be ‘rewarding’.
So far the Grade 6 class she instructs has managed to complete a website, make movies and do ‘everyday maths’ on the computer.
They also learn to use the laptop for other school subjects such as social science, English, and life orientation, she said.
Pupils Tasneem Karbary, 12, and Bilal Gierdien, 13, said the computers have made learning easier.
“It’s easier because we don’t need to write, the computer does it. We just read and type and drag and drop,” said Bilal.
Tasneem agreed, “We’re very excited because we learn new things.”