The Telematic Schools Project is a joint initiative between the Western Cape Education Department and Stellenbosch University to implement education through technology. The project provides lessons via satellite and live streaming to learners in Grades 10 to 12. The main idea behind the project is to provide learners with the best-quality teaching, which speaks to the vision of the WCED: quality teaching to every learner in every classroom in every school. The broadcasts do not replace teaching that happens in all classrooms on a daily basis; it supports everyday teaching by revising and consolidating what teachers have already taught. It therefore by no means replaces teachers. The project has also had some unintended outcomes; one of these is that teachers have also learned from other teachers, and so the teaching in many classrooms has improved as teachers are exposed to techniques and methods used by their peers.
All schools across South Africa benefit from the interactive afternoon satellite broadcasts, which focus on difficult concepts in eighteen key subjects. The presenters explain key concepts and address areas in which learners have experienced problems in previous examinations. Learners can respond by asking questions to the presenter in the studio via WhatsApp, Facebook, Messenger and email. On the Telematic Schools website (schools.sun.ac.za), teachers and learners can also download all the material and videos.
The partnership between the two institutions makes sense, because it is a good mix of content and technology in which both parties bring their expertise together to offer learners an easy and practical solution. All parties are fully committed to helping learners pass their matric exams. The presenters and senior curriculum planners are dedicated experts who make time in their busy schedules to prepare lessons and content for the learners.
Satellite technology is used due to its stability, and the fact that even places with no signal can participate in the broadcasts. At the same time, everything is streamed so that learners who do not necessarily have the equipment can also follow the lessons and participate.
The following subjects are available in English and Afrikaans:
Afrikaans (HL and FAL), English (HL and FAL), Mathematics, Mathematics Literacy, Accounting, Life Sciences, History, Physical Sciences, Business Studies, Economics, Geography, Technical Mathematics and Technical Sciences and Tourism.
The partnership between the WCED and CLT also focuses on the professional skills development of both the presenters and the teachers. Teacher Development sessions broadcast on the platform are a powerful tool to reach all teachers, at a much lower cost to the WCED.
schools.sun.ac.za, or email