The launch of satellite broadcasting programs is going to make learning for young students undertaking mathematics substantially more interesting.
The programme was launched last week by the Gauteng Education MEC Barbara Creecy and is one of many measures taken by department with the objective of enhancing upon the quality of teaching for grade 8 and 9 students.
The programme and service is going to be broadcast to individual high school specifically chosen by the department and will overlap with lesson to ensure that teachers can integrate the broadcast with their lessons. The broadcast will also be recorded for the benefit of students to revise what they have learnt in class.
15 schools were chosen for the pilot programme in February and from now on the broadcast will expand to over 385 schools who happen to be part of the Senior Secondary School Improvement Programme over the course of the year.
“We are aware of the fact that Gauteng’s education system has the task of producing graduates who are able to become the next generation of skilled workers, engineers, and managers the advanced industrial economy of our province requires if it is to continue to grow,” Creecy said.
The primary goal and objectives of the programme is to improve the overall quality of maths and science teaching available to students in the most disadvantaged schools and regions.
The use of technology in class is a global trend being employed to help bridge the gap of educational inequalities. The Gauteng education department is extremely enthusiastic with the new innovations which have been introduced and it brings the region in line with international trends.
Creecy stated that the launch of satellite broadcasting is not meant to replace teachers, rather it is just another teaching tool that can assist both students and teachers.
Boosting matric pass rate
The satellite broadcasting programme is an extension of the Secondary School Improvement Programme (SSIP) which has raised the matric pass rate by 12 percent over the last 4 years.
According to results from the pilot program, the satellite broadcasts is exhibiting exceptional results and is designed to rapidly improve learner performance in maths and science for Grades 8 and 9.
Sphesihle Sithole (14), a Grade 9 learner at Ibhongo Secondary School, was quoted as saying that a large number of students are excited by the new programme and interventions and they are confident that everyone will pass maths with flying colors. Not only are students more confident about passing maths. in addition they find maths substantially more interesting as a result of the introduction of the satellite broadcasting.
Aside from the satellite broadcasts, learners and teachers are making use of other social media tools like Facebook, Mxit and Twitter together with landline and mobile phones so that they can communicate back to the central broadcast studio to ask questions and make comments.
The satellite platform also provides on-the-job training for class teachers who also attend further lessons in the afternoons. Teachers in the schools involved so far have been enthusiastic in their response to the programme as have district officials who are overseeing its implementation.