20 May 21 News Communities South Africa

High Schools join online world in wind farm’s digital classroom drive

Wifi and internet connectivity will bring new functionality to Smartboards already installed at six Nama Khoi high schools, including Namakwaland, above, under the Kangnas Wind Farm programme

Thousands of school pupils will soon be clicking through to web resources for the first time as a result of a drive by Kangnas Wind Farm to close the online learning gap in its local rural communities.

Internet connections and wifi networks are being installed at six secondary level institutions in the Nama Khoi area of South Africa’s Northern Cape, in support of the District Department of Education’s digital technology strategy for classrooms.  

Every student at St Anna, Nababeep, SA Van Wyk, Concordia, Namakwaland and Okiep high schools – currently more than 2,080 young learners in all – will have online access, with safe browsing controls in place.

The web will also add new functionality to electronic Smartboards that were recently provided to the same schools under the wind farm programme.

Cheryl Persensie, Mainstream's local Economic Development Manager, described funding for the roll-out as being essential to match the 21st century e-learning standards available to urban youngsters.

She said: "Access to information and digital platforms improve the quality of education in many ways. It opens doorways to a wealth of information, knowledge, and educational resources, increasing opportunities for learning in and beyond the classroom.

"Teachers use online materials to prepare lessons, and students to extend their range of learning. Interactive teaching methods, supported by the internet, enable teachers to give more attention to individual students’ needs and support shared learning.

"Furthermore, access to the internet helps educational administrators to reduce the costs and improve the quality of services at schools."

Digital classroom technology delivered through wifi has been found to be particularly helpful for teaching high school STEM subjects, with its interactive nature improving engagement levels.

Commenting on the initiative, Okiep Acting Principal Juanita Cloete said: "The wi-fi will contribute to quality learning and teaching. It has put our school in a position to develop and enhance learning strategies, to develop the minds of our learners."

  • The 140 MW Kangnas Wind Farm was developed and constructed by Mainstream for our Africa Joint Venture, Lekela Power. Entering commercial operations in November 2020, its 61 turbines are now generating more than 513 GWh of clean energy a year, enough to meet the equivalent demand of 154,625 average-sized households, while annually saving 550,000 tonnes of fossil fuel plant CO2 emissions.