Archive for the ‘No ofisi School’ tag
The VSA has some exciting new developments to report:
- Anna Wertlen is currently writing a proposal to the Makana Municipality for the usage of a large building in Joza-Rhini. Several stakeholders are interested to move into the building to strengthen and widen partnerships to serve the community, eg. RLabs, the Centre for Social Development, The Makana Science Alliance, the Mobile Science Lab and Upstart, except from the VSA apparently. This development is very exciting and promising. The Makana Science Alliance also showed interest in placing science content onto awareNet and offering online teaching.
- Our proposal to the UK Department of International Development for academic research on and implementation of the Village Scribe Project made it onto the short list. Final decisions are expected in April.
- Ron Wertlen is currently working on a study into the Potential to Utilize Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to Promote Inclusion, Public Participation and Accountability in Local Governance in South Africa. This feeds us a lot of useful information and opens up future possibilities for eKhaya ICT.
- Manuela Walsdorf-Maul, a lecturer of the Technical University, is visiting the Eastern Cape tomorrow to explore possibilities for a collaboration with the VSA and Bulungula Incubator to build additional classrooms for the No ofisi School in Nqileni.
- We are working on an awareNet spin-off, it’s a commercial product, it is cool and builds on perhaps 3 or 4 key insights. These are things we knew, and that loads of visitors to the projects reaffirmed by saying, “Wouldn’t is be groovy if we could do that?” Well, finally, it will be possible. More news before the end of 2011.
- The VSA is a partner of Rhodes University International School. Together, we offer a course to students from USA and Italy called Environment, Development, Sustainability in (South) Africa, whereby the VSA offers the elective ICT4D with the possibility to visit Rhini and Bulungula. Mid April we will know how many students will attend.
- Ron Wertlen submitted a solicited proposal to USAASA. The agency is currently ramping up their access intiatives, including the broader themes of training and software, but mainly pure access to communication signals. Being one of their focus regions, the Eastern Cape is hopeful of receiving USAASA support, and we are hoping that some of our initiatives, will be funded. We’ll know soon if our proposal has been accepted.
- We handed in our application for registration as a South African non-profit organisation and are waiting to be accepted. This will give us the possibility to apply for volunteer work from the German Weltwärts Programme and Rhodes University Community Engagement.
Ron Wertlen visited Nkwalini with Darren Anderson, SELF’s new Technical Project Manager for Africa (17-18/1). The solar infrastructure of the Zwelenqaba SS School that Mr Anderson had to inspect was in excellent shape: “I have never seen anything like this,” he said as he inspected the 48 batteries in Zwelenaba’s bank, all of which were at the same level of charge. Well done to Mr Friend who designed and installed the system and Mr Holder who maintains it!
The new year brought a shock to the school. The Department of Education seems to have struck all temporary positions in the province, so the beginning of the year at Zwelenqaba is filled with confusion. Teachers are busy trying to create the school timetable, but do not know how many teachers will be teaching here this year. Teachers have to give extra classes and teach subjects that they have no expertise in. The hope is that the DoE will renew contracts.
At Bafazi JS School is only one temporary post, so the school is not in as much upheaval. But here all the teachers are filling in forms. Zolile Makwayiba (acting Principal) says, “It’s a hunt for ghost teachers.” Could that be the reason for the chaos with the temporary posts?
The Bulungula Incubator reports similar problems at No-ofisi School in Nqileni in their January newsletter. Teaching here is hard enough, without an incompetent administration. Teachers are also scared of asking questions, having previously been accused of trying to subvert “official policy”. They say, let the principal ask and don’t mention our names: “once bitten, twice shy”.
The VSA has planned another trip to Nkwalini and Nqileni in the beginning of March. We will report about the course of action.