CommunityDigital LearningKruger National Park - South Africa
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Without access to technology, the teachers and learners of many schools in rural areas are at a significant disadvantage compared to their urban counterparts.

 

In 2015, Singita made a commitment to bring the benefits of digital learning to the communities near Singita Sabi Sand. Singita first partnered with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Mpumalanga Department of Education in a teaching and technology project that equipped all 19 primary schools in the Ximhungwe district with satellites, connectivity and a number of laptops, tablets and projectors. Over 300 educators completed educational technology and literacy courses via an e-learning platform and received facilitator-led Microsoft training. In 2018 the technology and teaching initiative was fully integrated into the Mpumalanga Department of Education’s programming.

This allowed Singita to focus on learners through a partnership with internationally recognised NGO, the Good Work Foundation (GWF). GWF’s model delivers digital-era literacy education and career training via community-driven digital learning centres of excellence, of which there are currently four around the Sabi Sand area. Singita recently strengthened its partnership with GWF via a three-year commitment to the Justicia Digital Learning Campus (JDLC), located in the village closest to Singita Sabi Sand.

Key Successes:
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Grade 4 learners participating in the Justicia Digital Learning Campus Open Learning Academy improved 38% in English and 20% in Maths in the first half of 2018.

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Of a sample of 155 Bridging Academy graduates from the class of 2017, an astonishing 73% have secured either full-time employment, a work exposure internship, or entrance into a college or university.

How it works:
  • The JDLC operates an Open Learning Academy for school-aged learners and a Bridging Academy for high school graduates.
  • The Open Learning Academy allows local schools to outsource their digital, English and mathematics literacy and supports learners from Grade 4 onwards. Conservation, coding and robotics subjects have been added as recent enhancements to the curriculum.
  • The Bridging Academy creates an access bridge between school and work or further education, preparing rural school leavers for life in modern business environments. Youth on the Bridging Academy programme work with a student counsellor who assists them with a career interest profile and a career journey plan.
  • Further training is available at GWF’s Advanced Career Training Academies offered at the central campus in nearby Hazyview. Accredited courses respond to the needs of the community, and include Conservation, Hospitality and ICT.
  • Another key component of the programme is the Coaching for Conservation programme. The “Rhino Rap” workshop is a fun, soccer-based, interactive experience that builds awareness for our natural environment as well as the long-term negative effects of poaching.
  • By 2020, GWF campuses aim to provide access to digital learning to 26,500 youth and scholars who live adjacent to the greater Sabi Sand reserve.
How you can help:
  • Make a contribution to enhance the opportunities available to children through in the Open Learning programme.
  • Donations will go towards the provision of Boogie Boards (innovative, affordable eWriter tablets) or robotic kits through which students learn to assemble and code - encouraging computational thinking and creative problem-solving.
Other Areas of Conservation
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Biodiversity
Community
Sustainability