Khanya Migration – wcednews, August 2011
By the start of the 2012 academic year, every educator in every school of the Western Cape will be empowered to use appropriate and available technology to deliver curriculum to each and every learner in the Western Cape.
This was the ambitious goal when the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) started the Khanya project in 2001 and, with this objective in sight, a process is underway to mainstream the functions of the project within the core components of the department and not operate it as a stand-alone project.
Brian Schreuder, Deputy Director-General: Curriculum and Assessment Management, who is heading the process, said Khanya would have fulfilled its mandate by March 2012 when all schools were expected to have computer labs plus other ICT equipment for e-learning. “So the time is right and it has been envisaged for some time that the project would come to an end and that the functions Khanya performs would be taken up within the main components of the department.”
Schreuder said the process, which started in 2009, gathered momentum at the start of this year. “We are following a handover strategy developed by Khanya Manager, Kobus van Wyk. Components were identified that would ordinarily perform the functions the Khanya team were responsible for and a management committee comprising of the managers of these components was appointed. We had engagements with these components and also had road shows with the districts so that it is clear which functions they will have and what support they will get.”
The functions that will be mainstreamed included the procurement of ICT equipment and hardware and software; infrastructure development; maintenance; teacher training; e-learning curriculum development or the ongoing expansion of the utilisation of ICT by teachers to enhance teaching and learning.
Shreuder said ongoing guidelines for the utilization of ICT in teaching will be the function of e-Learning in Curriculum. “The responsibility for the training of teachers will be combined between the Cape Teaching and Leadership Institute and the Centre for e-Innovation (Ce-I) in the Department of the Premier as well as District Advisors. The districts will have an ongoing function of supporting teachers in the use of ICT.”
At head office level, Curriculum Planners will be tasked with ensuring that the guidelines and content for the use of ICT in particular subjects receive attention. “We will continue to have updates on the curriculum website where teachers can access the information.”
Shreuder said a challenge was the maintenance aspect of the work Khanya was currently doing. “That will largely be the function of Ce-I because it is an overarching and cross cutting function. We have started to engage with them in terms of what the capacity and the knowledge and skills are that they will require to be able to perform the function. In the shorter term we will utilize the e-learning advisor in districts to do initial or first step identification of maintenance needs.”
He added that the March 2012 date for the final wrap-up of Khanya as an individual project will be dependent on one or two aspects, such as maintenance and the ability of Ce-I to maintain the infrastructure and hardware.
“It is important to note that when the Khanya project started, they indicated to schools that schools need to have a sustainable management plan for ICT in schools in place. The Khanya project was intended to kick start that by providing schools with initial equipment, initial training and initial expertise. Many schools have done this (implemented a sustainable management plan) and therefore are in a position to be able to continue refurbishing and renewing their structures. Some schools have not. As part of the process, we will continue to look at the support required for schools by districts to be able to make sure that the investment we made in Khanya is not wasted.”