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.
You can now download a copy of the latest issue of The Mighty Pen. As usual, this issue is packed with news snippets from education. You will also find information about digital offerings that could be of great value in an e-learning environment.
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.
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
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.
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?
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
The following article is contributed by Minda Marshall, Director of Lectorsa, a member of ADESSA.
“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
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 email@example.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 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.