10 Mar 21 News Communities South Africa

Schools going digital for children of new industrial revolution

Marischa Stevens, centre, and teachers from other Springbok schools get a lesson in how to use new Smartboard technology

Chalkboards and desk-bound lessons are being replaced by interactive e-learning for school children in one South African wind farm community.

The 21st Century makeover of classrooms across Namakwa, in the Northern Cape, is part of the District Department of Education’s digital strategy to improve learning outcomes.

Desk-bound lessons will be a thing of the past in STEM subjects with digital technology funded by Kangnas Wind Farm

Answering a call for business support, the local Kangnas Wind Farm has been funding the roll-out of electronic Smartboards and wi-fi networks under its Socio Economic Development programme.

Six high schools in the Nama-Khoi area have already received the technology, which have been found to be  especially helpful in the teaching of STEM subjects such as maths, physics and science.

Cheryl Persensie, Mainstream’s Economic Development Manager at Kangnas Wind Farm, said: "In addition to installing this digital classroom technology, teachers have been supported with training on how to use these interactive whiteboards, to ensure maximum value, and in addition to the white boards, we will continue to provide wi-fi access at the high schools that have benefited from this initiative."

The Smart Boards allow for groups of pupils to solve problems 'hands-on', moving objects around the touchscreen and interacting with computer-projected content.

Marischa Stevens, a teacher at SA Van Wyk High School in Springbok, explained that students are more engaged in the enhanced lessons, are developing teamwork skills and benefiting from online resources.

She said: "This Smartboard is extremely helpful and brings our lessons right into the 21st century, and considering that these are the kids of the 4th Industrial Revolution, we cannot only rely on the old chalk-and-talk methods of teaching anymore. This whiteboard could not have arrived at a better time."

  • 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.