Gallery
Zisukhanyo School Project – 2010

OUR VISION FOR ICT IN OUR SCHOOL
(ZSP COMPUTER LAB)

Together we will make optimal use of the training and other opportunities afforded us so that we can use the available technology effectively in our goals of improving the Literacy and Numeracy levels of our learners, thereby empowering them to become confident, competent and productive members within their respective communities.

 

Wednesday 16 April 2014.
Review Board Meeting.

Focus: Sustainability of the IT Programme in the post-ZSP era.
Good afternoon Mr Danny Gallagher, Chairman Protea Education Dev Project, Mr Glen Van Harte, District Director, All Circuit Teams, ZSP & Greenshoots members, School representatives and all protocols observed.

 

Thank you Mr Programme Director for the honour of sharing the stage at this prestigious meeting to reflect on the post ZSP- sustainability of the project.
Sustainability has two faces, viz Financial sustainability and Administrative sustainability:

 

Its a bit like love and marriage, you can’t have none, but you cant have one without the other
In terms of Administrative Sustainability, at Sullivan Primary we believe that it is important that the staff appreciate the value which the Zisukhanyo lab brings to the school both as a learning resource and an administrative aid. IT has found its way into almost every aspect of the educators’ daily administration and it’s become standard practice for educators to submit documents, reports, lists etc electronically. This has made Educators more dependent on IT, but with their dependency, has also come the need for greater efficiency and vice versa, resulting in an upward positive spiral.

 

Our school has also agreed to retain the services of our CCA and we have signed a contract for the maintenance of our IT systems with Greenshoots. This gives educators the assurance that the lab is not only well maintained for their daily teaching, but that all online lessons and assessments can be conducted according to schedule with timeous feedback to educators and weekly reports to the office. In this way we are trying as best to maintain the status quo so that our educators can continue to monitor the progress and intervene accordingly as happened during the ZSP period. An added responsibility for our CCA this year will be the training of one learner per class from Gr 5- 7 to assist in generating Lab reports. In this way the CCA is no longer only an assistant, but also a Trainer, thereby cementing her role in the organization.

 

As a Learning Resource, the lab has proven its worth. The fact that all learners from Gr R – 7 are engaged in the Numeracy programme means that our lab has become an indispensable resource for learning and teaching across the whole school. That our lab enjoys minimal ‘down -time’ and is still in prestine condition with 99.9% of the equipment still being the original installations, is testimony firstly to the support of the Zisukhanyo back-up team and Secondly, the high premium which learners and staff place on this facility out of appreciation for its invaluable role in the teaching and learning of mathematics at our school. A 5% increase in Grade 3 and the 13% increase in the grade 6 maths in the 2013 systemic tests is further evidence of this.

 

As mentioned at the start, you can’t enjoy these administrative advantages of IT without financial sustainability, and this almost always presents a challenge in schools. But our experience has been that because the school, ie staff, sgb and learners have either reaped, or at least seen the benefits, it has not been difficult to make provision for this facility in our school’s annual budget. The CCA has become an SGB – paid staff member like any other personnel employed by the SGB and budgeted for. The maintenance of the lab and IT equipment has become a standard line entry on the annual budget together with photo copiers or any other maintenance contracts the school may have. These are not ‘add-on’ or additionals to the budget, but form part of the regular learning and teaching resources in the annual budget. Secondly, there are many potential funders out there who are desperate to support literacy and numeracy development in schools. While most of these funders do not invest in infrastructure, they can be convinced that investing in ZSP labs directly supports numeracy through the Cami and the CAPS aligned lessons and assessments. Schools with ZSP labs are in a position to provide ample documentary evidence to this effect when approaching donors or potential funders.

 

At our school, the improvement in the Grade 3 and 6 passes in the 2013 systemic tests is directly attributed to the ZSP numeracy initiative and therefore we had no difficulty in motivating that a portion of the cash bonus reward incentive which our school received from Wced for improvement in numeracy rates, be allocated to this programme as it benefits all learners and is directly related to improving the learning and teaching of Maths as prescribed by the WCED. I believe that if the lab is appropriately utilized and if we can maintain a 90%+ usage, then all costs related to maintenance, running and support of the ZSP lab can be justified in the school’s annual budget. Administrative sustainability is therefore crucial for the Financial sustainability of the lab!

 

In conclusion I want to express via Mr Danny Gallagher to the Protea Education Development Project, our sincere appreciation that they did not compromise on quality, training or support when installing these centres at school. Because of these three non-negotiables in their planning, schools have found this transition from total dependency to absolute autonomy so much easier and the major cost impact of independence has been greatly reduced.

 

Sincere thanks to the ZSP team and Greenshoots, our District leadership for taking this leap of faith back in the past and for, together with the Circuit Teams, supporting the programme over the years. I wish our Stage 3 school’s strength as you find innovative and exciting ways of sustaining this project work in the post-ZSP era.

 

Ernest D Moore
Sullivan Primary School