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Sunday, December 5, 2021

Teacher training workshops to enhance online education essential

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced local organisations in both the public and private sectors to embrace digital transformation and the digitalisation of internal processes.

Analysts say that those that have not yet embraced online education are in imminent danger of falling behind.

Dr Cerene Rathilal, a lecturer at the University of Johannesburg said online education has become increasingly important considering that online engagement is the new norm.

“Online education and engagement are a hybrid approach that will likely remain the medium of instruction in the foreseeable future,” said Rathilal.

The University of Johannesburg (UJ) Soweto Science Centre in partnership with the Department of Basic Education, Africa Teen Geeks and UNICEF hosted a virtual Teacher Training workshop this month. The workshop aimed at equipping teachers with the necessary skills needed to create an effective online environment for learning.

READ: Technology in the classroom

Analysts and policy makers say that the move towards digital and Industry 4.0 technologies and methodologies is no longer optional if an organisation or country wishes to survive amid the “new normal”.​

Analytics software solutions provider at Analytics Software & Solutions South Africa education manager Adesh Nathalal said a key concern when implementing Industry 4.0 technologies in South Africa – and in Africa in general – is the employment factor.

Nathalal said it remains a significant challenge to implement a just transition to Industry 4.0 technologies and simultaneously retain jobs.

Dr Lungile Sithole, Director of the Soweto Science Centre said teachers play a noteworthy role in the upliftment and transformation of our society and as such, it is important that they receive continuous training and development.

Sithole said the Soweto Science Centre was primarily established to address pressing problems associated with human capital development, which South Africa as a member of the global community of nations is grappling with.

“Our mandate is geared towards the provision of tuition to learners and development of teachers in order to improve the quality of mathematics and science education in South Africa”, said Sithole.

READ: South Africa needs tech classrooms

Teacher training workshops are hosted annually at the Soweto Science Centre.

Sithole said this is where skills and competence development are a key part of the programme.

The Teacher Development Program seeks to promote the professional development of teachers on a broad scale, he said.

Adding that the program runs in tandem with UJ’s learner enrichment program which provides meaningful learning opportunities for both teachers and learners.

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