Teachers to get ICT training

October 20, 2010 2:27 pm 0 comments

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UniForum SA, the organisation that maintains the co.za domain registry, says it has increased its support for the Internet Service Providers’ Association of SA’s (ISPAs) ‘Train the Teacher’ project to the tune of R500 000.

The registrar says it has pledged to provide ICT training for 190 teachers during 2011 after sponsoring 130 educators this year. UniForum says has traditionally served as the largest supporter of ISPA’s teacher training project over the past decade.

“We have always been humbled by the enthusiasm teachers have shown for developing and subsequently imparting the ICT skills they have learned to their students,” says Theo Kramer, chair of the UniForum SA board.

According to Fiona Wallace, UniForum SA’s corporate social investment manager, the training has had a very real impact on the lives of the 2 000 participating teachers and their learners.

“In many cases, teachers run after-hours classes for their colleagues, their local communities and learners at their schools. This passes on the skills they have acquired even further,” she said.

UniForum SA and ISPA will choose the schools and teachers to benefit from the programme in the next few months. A number of ISPA members have promised to fund the training of 60 additional teachers during 2011. This means that at least 250 teachers will benefit from the programme next year.

ISPA is a non-profit South African Internet industry body that recognised the growing need for computer skills training in previously disadvantaged communities and established the “Train the Teachers” Project in December 2001. Through this initiative ISPA says it has assisted educators in developing their personal computer and organisational skills, knowledge and abilities.

According to Uniforum, ISPA provides the sponsorship for the programme, while Avuxeni Computer Academy and Schoolnet conduct the training. Other ISPA members supporting the programme this year include SAP, eNetworks, Ensync, MTN Business, Vox Telecom and Adept Internet.

Much of the training is conducted in school computer laboratories, funded by the UniForum SA co.za Cares initiative and installed on their behalf by NetDay Association. According to UniForum, some 2000 teachers have benefitted from the training to date.

Through the programme, teachers learn practical computer skills that help them produce learning materials, subject plans, assessments and marks records as well as to complete administrative tasks more efficiently.

They are encouraged to pass their learning on to their learners and colleagues, and to generate further projects of benefit to their communities.

Since 2004 ISPA and UniForum SA have been awarding a ‘Super Teacher of the Year’ award to the educator who has best imparted their newly-acquired IT knowledge to the learners and the local community after participating in ISPA’s nationwide teacher training programme. This year’s award went to Mrs Melia Moeketsi of Limpopo Province, said UniForum.

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