A MOVE TOWARDS INKJET PRINTING

At an event hosted by Tarsus in Cape Town, Epson presented its products suitable for education. A range of data projectors and interactive devices was presented.

An interesting fact was mentioned about a trend in printing. There seems to be a definite move from laser printing to inkjet printing. Less power is required, wastage is reduced and the cost is lower. It will be worthwhile to keep an eye on this development.

Joel Chetty – Business Account Manager (Education) of Epson

ADESSA – 2019 AGM

The 2019 AGM of ADESSA was a huge success.  Many members attended in person and others Zoomed in from different parts of the country to hear the main speaker, Brian Schreuder (Head of Department of the WCED), giving an inspiring talk about the approach of the Western Cape Education Department towards education.

The WCED’s transformational strategy has two pillars: e-learning and a “transform to perform” philosophy.  Mr Schreuder highlighted the role that the private sector can play in providing good quality content and invited ADESSA to continue its discussions with the province.

Brian Schreuder, Head of Department of the WCED

Henry Kavuma of the DBE then spoke about the SONA ICT Commitment of the President and in very clear terms spelled out the critical role that ADESSA will play in the future to assist the DBE to execute its five-year plan.

After years of working behind the scenes to boost our membership and to build good relationships with the decision makers of education, it is satisfying to see that our efforts are paying off and that ADESSA is now poised to play a significant role in the furtherance of good education in South Africa.  Our members are thrilled at the prospects that this opportunity opens for them.

Public schools in Gauteng, are your admissions policies up to date?

This article is contributed by Teach360, a member of ADESSA.

The 2019 school year is already underway and this week the admissions application process opened for 2020. If you run a school that is preparing to review its next set of young applicants, you need to ensure that you are fully up to date with the Gauteng Department of Basic Education’s new admission policies.

In particular, you should be aware that recent changes have been made regarding the province’s feeder zone regulations, with the radius of these zones extended from 5km to 30km. Are your school’s 2020 policies compliant?

Edwell Gumbo, the GM of Teach360

Until recently, public school policies mandated that schools prioritise applicants living or working within a 5km radius of their schools. This diminished the chances of children living further away from better-resourced schools from being admitted to these schools.

But for the last 18 months, Gauteng MEC of Education Panyaza Lesufi has been acting on a 2016 Constitutional Court ruling to address these issues. Lesufi has done this, and in November 2018 new regulations regarding the province’s feeder zones were officially gazetted.

“Feeder zone determination plays a significant role in ensuring that access to our schools is fair, transparent and conducted in an equitable manner,” Lesufi said.

The new system gives learners who apply to the school closest to them preferential rights but, if the school is full, they can now apply to any school within a 30km radius of where they live or work. Learners who have siblings at the school they are applying to are also given priority.

Other admissions rules have been under the spotlight, too, with Lesufi calling for reform in regulations that potentially discriminate against learners based on their race, ethnicity, language, age, religion, sexual orientation, HIV status and other criteria.

Assessing your school’s compliance

As a public school in Gauteng, it’s critical that you are compliant with these new legislated changes, but assessing all of your school’s policies can be a confusing and time-consuming process.

Fortunately, there are resources available to help you, such as Teach360, an education solutions provider that developed a number of school policies addressing most of the needs of schools.  These policies are comprehensive enough to cover the pertinent components that schools need to manage, but you can even adapt or tailor them according to your school’s specific needs.

Teach360’s school policies are fully compliant with the most recent legal and regulatory requirements and cover matters such as learner discipline, language, religion, human rights, HIV/AIDS and time-scheduling.

These policies have been drafted by one of South Africa’s top education law professors and endorsed by international specialists in the field.

“We recognise that schools have to have clear and comprehensive policies in place in order to operate effectively and be compliant with the law,” says Edwell Gumbo, GM for Teach360. “Our products simplify this process by providing all the access to information and tools that schools need.”

The new school feeder zones will be revised at least every three years, or whenever a new school opens in an area. Ensuring that your policies are up to date and legally complaint will minimise any disruptions these changes cause so that you can get on with the task of educating South Africa’s young minds.

About Teach360

Teach360, which forms part of the FutureLearn Group, develops comprehensive and efficient CAPS-aligned teacher resources in the form of Teacher Files that meet classroom and administrative needs and School Policies drafted based on legal and regulatory requirements. Teach360 also provides a full set of educational resources and learning materials that include the likes of CAMI and Quanta.

Digital education for everyone with Snapplify AND Google for Education

Oakley House is a special needs school in Cape Town using Snapplify and Google solutions to give their students the competitive edge inside and outside of the classroom. Snapplify has been chosen by thousands of schools as a trusted partner in digital education; the company is passionate about empowering educators, and nurturing students with relevant and accessible digital learning tools – from Google Classroom, to your classroom, with Snapplify. Register for FREE today at engage.snapplify.com/get-started.

Link to video on YouTube here.

A guest post from lectorsa

The following article is contributed by Minda Marshall, Director of Lectorsa, a member of ADESSA.

Minda Marshall, Director of Lectorsa

“When a child who could be taught to read goes untaught, the child suffers a lasting injury — and so does society,” said Judge Stephen Murphy.

We have entered the second quarter of 2019 and the question remains: how much will our learners in South Africa improve in the crucial skills of visual processing, reading and comprehension? According to Employment and Social Development in Canada, reading comprehension will be one of the five top skills needed for tomorrow’s jobs.

This is why, as parents and teachers, we need to ask ourselves the important question: are we setting our children up for failure? Are we satisfied with the high percentage of learners not reading at a proficient level in our schools? More than 78% of South African learners cannot read for meaning, according to the latest Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS).  During this study, which tested the reading comprehension of learners in their fourth year of primary school, South Africa ranked last out of 50 countries. Research has revealed that children who do not learn to read by the end of third grade are likely to remain poor readers and as a result fall behind in other academic areas too. It has also been proven that learners who struggle with reading are more likely to drop out of school. This is especially alarming when you look at the following statistics: of the 624,733 full-time public school students who entered matric at the start of 2018, only 512,735 actually wrote the exams.

A local study at one of the leading universities in South Africa indicated that “One of the most challenging issues Higher Education Institutions (HEI’s) face, but one that is not fully recognised by either students or lecturers until some way into academic courses, is the problem of reading”. It is presumed that students who have entered university are proficient readers and have mastered the building blocks of reading, but this, however, is not the case for all students.

I believe one of the key reasons why children are not reading at an acceptable level is the basic assumption that learning to read is a natural process. However, years of cognitive neuroscience research has clarified that reading does not come naturally. Our brains are not wired to read.  Children need to be taught not only how to read, but to read-to-learn. In the first three years of schooling, children are taught how to read. This is the time in reading development when a love for reading and excitement about new information should be encouraged. During this phase of development the sounds we hear in spoken language are transferred to a written symbol system. We can call this phase of development the Learn-to-Read – the “phonics phase”.

From Grade 4 children should progress to the Read-to-Learn phase, moving from ‘sounding’ out words to being able to ‘recognize and decipher’ words, sentences, paragraphs and even whole chapters and constructing the meaning of the text on different levels of comprehension. Our research across more than 30 years has shown that this transition is becoming weaker and weaker and is now at a stage where it seems to not take place accurately or efficiently enough – thus the reason why so many children are struggling, also in higher grade levels. Many learners fail to make the required transition to fluent reading and subsequently  encounter significant difficulties in constructing meaning from text. Fluency in reading is critical for reading competency and is consequently fundamental in reading success.

This is one of the areas where we see a considerable improvement of up to five years on average with LAB-on-line. There is a great solution available for Junior to Senior learners, as well as for our students in the FET and tertiary phase of education, and parents and teachers alike should take note of this.

Lectorsa has designed and developed a progressive on-line solution called LAB-on-line, that specifically targets and develops visual processing skills, together with reading and cognitive skills. We use the science of neural-wiring and combine it with the physics of muscle training through the processes of the reading action. When these essential skills are developed and refined, academic outcomes are improved, learners’ self-esteem is boosted and they are equipped with life-long learning skills.

It is said that there is a profound connection between reading, understanding the world and being able to change it. If we want the next generation to not only succeed, but to build a better South Africa, we need to step in now and equip them with the right skill set.

 If we can address this critical problem, we can not only minimize the impact of the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality that our country faces, but we can help each child to realise his/her true potential.

Join us in our campaign, #YesICan, to improve literacy across the country. South Africa’s children deserve no less. Contact our office office@lectorsa.com to stand a chance to participate in the #YesICanLiteracyCampaign and receive a free 10-week reading development program to implement at your school before the end of the year.


ADESSA PARTICIPATES IN CAPE WINELANDS EXPO

ADESSA is proud to have been part of a highly successful elearning event, hosted by the Cape Winelands Education District of the Western Cape Education Department at the new Somerset High school in Worcester.

Nineteen ADESSA members exhibited their products and services; each one was given a classroom in which to display, demonstrate and present a variety of technology tools for education. About 200 principals, teachers and education department officials stayed till late to visit all the exhibits.

The SG of the Western Cape Education Department, Brian Schreuder, warmly thanked ADESSA and the exhibitors for the valuable contribution they are making to education in general and for contributing to the success of the elearning event.

Banners in front of classrooms, inviting attendees to see produts of Teach360 and Kolok.