In this technological age, life without access to the internet or smart devices means not being able to stay up-to-date with news and global developments, no contact via social media platforms and no opportunity to further your career by compiling a CV, on a word-processing programme and e-mailing it to the appropriate recipient.
In the current global economy and digital marketplace, 21st century skills are demanded from young people, without them ever being exposed to the digital world due to poor and vulnerable circumstances. This massive divide is nowhere more apparent than in rural communities where students lack basic opportunities to become proficient in the main languages of access: English and digital.
The Good Work Foundation, a registered NGO that has been uplifting rural communities through access to world class education since 2003, has partnered with Sabi Sabi to provide digital learning to the Lillydale community. This programme was driven by the needs of the community and similar to the Sabi Sabi philosophy, encourages community ownership. The campus will be located at Hlomani High School in Lillydale, where the community and all learners will have access to education through a new digital learning campus. This campus will serve as a hub where advanced technology will be utilised to strengthen the ability to navigate the online world and its opportunities. The initial phase of the building has already begun, and the aim is to have a complete and functional facility by August 2018.
With the use of hardware (digital devices), software (learning apps, e-learning publications, video learning and massive open online learning) and a tablet device-to-learner ratio of between 1:1 and 1:3, an environment of repetitive, outcomes-based and measured learning is created. A “blended” learning approach that combines online digital media with traditional classroom methods, will aim to provide the best outcome to students.
School going learners from Grade 4 level upwards (with OLA programmes – Open Learning Academy and BA programmes – Bridging Academy – that will be available) will attend classes every week for a year to work through a digital syllabus with a curriculum that will focus on mathematics, English literacy, hospitality management, wildlife monitoring, conservation, ICT and media studies.
School leavers and second chance learners of any age will be afforded an advantage in their search to secure semi-skilled employment on completion of the bridging course, a one-year accredited programme, or alternatively further their studies at an institution of their choice.
The digital learning campus plans to provide the equipment, software, facilitators and continuous maintenance and growth of the programme and its tools. It will be a central point of free connectivity to the internet for an entire community.
Sabi Sabi is a founding partner of the Lillydale campus and is committed to creating spaces of ‘wonder-filled’ learning, especially in education and empowerment in the various fields, thus equipping these learners with the best advantage for them to secure their own bright futures.
Meet the irrepressible Dankie Mokase, Barman at Selati Camp. Dankie loves nothing more than entertaining guests with a good story, and of course recommending – and serving up – the ultimate cocktail, from the range of local craft beverages available. Always smiling, always entertaining – the perfect mix for winning over both his guests and colleagues alike.