Children in underprivileged and rural communities often face a lack of resources that makes learning challenging. For the learners at Fisantekraal High School, the barrier to CAT subjects and technology was a problem affecting their studies.
SAME Foundation Establishes New Computer Center and Resource Center for Fisantekraal High School
What We Found
Fisantekraal, a remote area outside Durbanville in Kraaifontein, houses around 4000 people, and this small settlement has an unemployment rate of around 60%. As the learners who attend Fisantekraal High School come from catchments around the settlement, the school teaches around 1,200 learners. Although Fisantekraal faces many challenges with its resources (both in school and in the home environment of its students) and location and social ills, the school has managed an 81.1% pass rate for the Matrics of 2018. The school also boasts numerous awards, including 4th place as the Most Improved School in their District. It is clear that despite their disadvantages, the dedicated staff lead their school with excellence and intentionality.
Fisantekraal High School faced a particular challenge with their access to technology for their staff and students. CAT subjects suffered as there was not enough computer space for the students and teachers. Furthermore, teachers and learners did not have regular access to computers for research, planning, and school-work because in the Fisantekraal community there are few computers found in the home environment. These difficulties hindered students from completing assignments on time and up to standard.
What We Did
The SA Medical and Education Foundation (SAME Foundation) heard from the Education Department that Fisantekraal High School required a new computer center and resource center. At the start of 2019, we began our first education project of the year with the Fisantekraal High School.
The previous “Resource Center” had groups of tables and bookshelves filling the back walls. Teachers didn’t have separate computers to work from, and the presence of technology was lacking. The new Resource Center, funded by XLink, maintained the idea of the groups of tables, but instead, we had custom-sized tables built to maximize the space of the room. We fitted computers to each group of tables for a conducive workspace. A new teachers space was built in the front of the room, with a smartboard E-Learning system as well.
Fisantekraal High School Resource Center Before
Fisantekraal High School Resource Center After
The previous computer center had older computers lining the exterior facing walls of the classroom. The major problem with the set-up of the classroom was that the full space was not utilized, so many more students could take CAT subjects if there were more computers. The new computer center, funded by various companies, was strategically designed with custom tables to utilize the space of the room and increase the number of computers. By doing this, we increased the number of students who could be taught in the new computer center. Our Foundation, with the Education Department, also equipped the computer center with a smartboard and extra computers.
Fisantekraal High School Computer Center Before
Fisantekraal High School Computer Center After
The increased access to technology and CAT subjects for the Fisantekraal High School learners means that their exposure to technology will heighten their technological literacy. Fisantekraal High School will be able to teach more students in their CAT subjects and provide a place for students to access computers for their schoolwork. The exposure to this technology and the freedom to use it will allow learners at this high school to become more independent and learned in computers. Having a greater knowledge in technology will allow students the confidence to pursue STEM subjects in school and into STEM careers. Students who enter into tertiary education will be able to cope better with the pressures and expectations of post-secondary when they are technologically literate.
Contact us if you would like to get involved in a STEM education project to encourage technological literacy.