Dinaledi schools go online

August 22, 2011 3:00 pm 0 comments

Following years of delay, the Department of Communications (DOC) has revealed that its e-connectivity programme for 125 Dinaledi schools and 1525 district schools is underway.

While the DOC failed to connect 250 schools in the 2008/09 financial year - it has now finalised MoUs and User Requirement Specifications as it looks to make a start on the initiative.

Following a meeting of government‘s Infrastructure cluster, the DOC noted that the implementation of its e-connectivity programme for schools had kicked off.

In 2008, the department revealed plans to provide 250 schools with ICT connectivity in the 2008/09 financial year – but failed to connect any schools.

In its 2008/09 budget presentation, the DOC noted that 233 Dinaledi schools had been identified to be connected to Sentech’s wireless broadband network. An ICT technical working group was also established to inform the process of connectivity and the deployment of ICT equipment.

Currently, only 11 Dinaledi schools have internet access. These form part of the 18 schools adopted by the Department of Science and Technology (DST).

In 2001 the Department of Education established the Dinaledi School Project to increase the number of matriculants with university-entrance mathematics and science passes. The strategy involves selecting certain secondary schools for Dinaledi status to increase learner participation and performance in mathematics and science, and provide them with the resources and support.

Despite struggling with connectivity, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) set aside a conditional grant amounting to R70 million for the Dinaledi schools programme in 2011/12. This is set to reach R105.5 million in 2013/14.

The Gauteng provincial government allocated R14.5 million, over the next three years, to the programme and announced active interventions aimed at improving maths and science education in the province.

In 2010, Dinaledi schools contributed 47 760 of the 263 034 learners who wrote mathematics in the 2010 NSC examinations, with 27 109 (57%) of these Dinaledi learners achieving a pass. In physical science, 36 861 of the 205 364 NSC candidates were at Dinaledi schools, and of these 21 925 achieved a pass.

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