12 Nov 19 Communities South Africa

‘Old-school’ classrooms get Smart under wind farms' education programme

Math lessons have just got more interactive for Grade 6B pupils Camerin Mostert, Luther Vries and Maryam Basson at Loeries Primary School

Schoolchildren and teachers in the Northern Cape are embracing 21st century e-learning with the help of one of our local wind farms.

Traditional chalk boards at Loeriesfontein’s high school and primary school have made way for new, computer-connected Smart Boards that promise a new era of enhanced, interactive education.

Working with projected images, teachers and students are able to use the whiteboards as tablet-style touchscreens, moving items around with their fingers and annotating lessons with coloured pens.

Marieta Basson writes up lesson notes on the computer-linked Smart Board

The seven Smart Boards – funded by Khobab Wind Farm in response to a request by the two schools – are already proving their worth in teaching primary level maths from Grades Four to Seven.

Meanwhile, secondary level pupils and teachers have been using the boards in geography, languages, life and natural sciences, maths and technology lessons.

The technology is said to have revolutionised the classroom with the touchscreens allowing students to work together in groups and take a hands-on approach to problem solving. They also allow teachers to use the internet to enhance their lessons with online resources and create a more engaging experience.

Vanessa Fredericks, Economic Development Manager for Loeriesfontein Wind Farm and Khobab Wind Farm, said: “Studies have shown that using this technology in classrooms actually improves learning, enhances literacy, boosts attentiveness and increases comprehension.”

The Smart Boards initiative forms part of the Loeriesfontein and Khobab Wind Farms’ focus on education, which also covers the funding of foundation phase as well as maths and science teachers, skills training, literacy and a maths numeracy programme.

The socio-economic projects follow an asset or strength-based approach to community development, which builds on what the community has, as opposed to what it doesn’t have.

With research showing that low literacy levels place a constraint on future learning, it is expected that, over the long term, the investment in education and skills development will translate into increased career opportunities and household incomes in the Loeriesfontein community.

  • Khobab Wind Farm and its sister project, Loeriesfontein Wind Farm, entered operation in December 2017 as part of our Africa joint venture, Lekela Power. Their 122 turbines have a combined generating capacity of 280 MW – enough to power around 240,000 South African homes a year.