Teacher IT Workshops | LEAP Science and Maths School
Need: South Africa has the most unequal school system in the world. The gap in test scores between the top 20% of schools and the lower 80% is wider than in almost every other country. Of 200 black pupils who start school, just one student can expect to study engineering. Ten white students can expect the same result. (Source: Economist) South Africa's high school dropout rate is 44% (compared to 12% in the US), the unemployment rate is 26% (it is 4% in the US), and for people ages 15 - 29, the unemployment rate is 60% in South Africa.
Nonprofit Partner: LEAP Science and Maths Schools is an innovative nonprofit organization dedicated to providing quality education to underserved youth living in townships across South Africa. The six LEAP campuses focus on Math, Science, and English, have extended school hours, and believe in developing both their students’ character and intellect. 97% of LEAP students pass their Grade 12 final examinations (compared to a 76% national average), and 90% of LEAP graduates qualify for higher education (compared to a national average of less than 12% for students from townships and rural areas). LEAP’s vision is to provide technology and training for all of their schools so that each LEAP teacher will have a laptop, all learners will have access to desktops and/or tablets, and classrooms will be models of 21st century teaching and learning methods. Specifically, this project worked with LEAP 5 School, which is the only LEAP School to maintain a 100% pass rate since it opened in 2012.
Project: This was Team4Tech’s sixth project with LEAP and Pure Storage's second project with LEAP, building on our established relationship to help implement LEAP’s comprehensive IT strategy across all of their six campuses.
For this project, the team worked with LEAP 5 school in Limpopo, which is a three-and-a-half hour drive from Johannesburg. The team helped LEAP 5 teachers strengthen their digital literacy skills, learn how to use Google Classroom and other Google Applications to enhance collaboration, and explore different subject-specific software to enhance teaching and learning.
The IT infrastructure team helped virtualize LEAP 5's main server and firewall servers, installed a Ubiquity security gateway to add another layer of security and monitoring, installed a new UPS, fixed errors on the primary domain controller, and implemented a new virtual server that will be used as a primary domain controller for all LEAP Schools.
One of the volunteers worked closely with the three LEAP administrators to improve their efficiency using Google Sheets, created a digital library loan system, and helped one of the administrators create a website for a kindergarten organization.
In addition to daily workshops with teachers, the team also visited learners' homes to learn more about the community, engaged in a fun-filled Sunday excursion to the third largest canyon in the world (Blyde Canyon), had a South African barbeque (braai), engaged in daily reflections for leadership development, and hosted a technology "fun day" with the learners to inspire and empower their digital literacy.
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