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 Lowveld Trust, our conservation partner in South Africa, made a commitment to bring the benefits of digital learning to the communities near Singita Sabi Sand. We 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 us 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 Lowveld Trust 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.
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 2018.73 %
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.