Dimbaza school gets technology upgrade

The EC MEC for Education, Fundile Gade and the CEO and Founder of Nudle, Duren Munsami during the launch of the Richard Varha Technical High School smart classroom. PICTURE: ECDoE

Richard Varha Technical High School in Dimbaza made history as the first school in South Africa with an extended reality (XR) classroom. This was made possible because Nudle and KMAX PC sponsored the smart classroom in order to improve learning and teaching.

The word “XR” refers to a broad category of computer-generated environments that either completely immerse users in virtual reality or combine the real and virtual worlds. The MEC for Education in the Eastern Cape, Fundile Gade, officially handed over this classroom.

The MEC emphasised how the implementation of this smart classroom will overcome the knowledge and skill gap. “In 2020 the department introduced the ICT rollout in the province. The aim for that rollout was to level the ground between the children of the Eastern Cape and the world. We have accomplished that objective we have set out in 2020,” Gade stated.

Richard Varha Technical High School pupils giving their new technology a try. PICTURE: ECDoE

He continued, “The contribution today is moving us away from only an academic progression to a skills education system in the nation. So that we can cease having unemployed people sitting at Steers with CVs.”

The principal of Richard Varha Technical High School, S.J Adonis, stated that the smart classroom will make teaching easy for both teachers and pupils. “Using technology of this kind will elevate the understanding of learners. It will bring what we do not have which is resources into a smart way up in a screen where learners can do everything within a short time,” he said.

On behalf of the pupils a pupil at the school thanked stakeholders for the smart classroom. “We promise to improve our performance, we promise to do our best to use and secure it so that it would be a legacy for future generations,” Linathi Nthwaku pledged.

Richard Varha Technical High School pupil giving their new technology a try. PICTURE: ECDoE

According to Nudle CEO and Founder Duren Munsami, people respond more to visual content. He believes that this approach of learning provides students with unforgettable learning experiences. “This unique learning method provides a fun way to fully understand the subjects and paves the way for a new era of education,” he said.

“We chose the school for its dedication, innovation and its commitment to providing students with the highest quality of education. We firmly believe in the transformative power of education in the Eastern Cape.

“We are confident that the school aligns with our values and goals. After we hand over the smart classroom to Richard Varha, our work does not stop there. We are committed to continue our partnership with the school to create amazing and effective content that matches the curriculum,” said Munsami.

The initiative was applauded by the Deputy Executive Mayor, Councillor Princess Faku, who brought up the Eastern Cape’s lack of digital skills as a problem that hinders the government’s ability to embrace and participate in the digital economy.

She stated that in order to develop digital skills, the Buffalo City Municipality will collaborate with the private sector and SETA. “We need to strengthen our relations with business and government entities to establish digital skills centres across the city. These centres will provide digital skills training to unemployed youth,” she said.

Faku stated that they want to collaborate with the department of education and other entities to improve digital skills in people and communities, particularly in young people and women, in order to support the digital transformation into job opportunities and a digital economy.

Faku also discussed the difficulties of load shedding, stating that they would search for alternative energy sources to ensure that the smart classroom operated without a hitch. She stated that they submitted a proposal to the National Treasury for a battery centre to create alternative energy for Buffalo City. This is anticipated to assist the municipality, particularly the schools, during load shedding.

Due to the high rate of school vandalism in the Buffalo City area, the community were advised to maintain the school and its property secure. The ward councillor has deployed guards to ensure there is no vandalism.