Whilst the project has local staff, it needs volunteers to help increase its efficiency and effectiveness in specific areas, and so would welcome expertise in any of the following areas:
• developing business skills and entrepreneurship
• careers advisors
• expertise in digital technology, especially education-based programs and apps
• helping adult learners prepare for employment, assisting with CV’s and interview skills
• working in the hospitality, media, music or conservation industries
• teacher training
• teaching or classroom support
• developing proficiency and confidence in English through conversation and reading
• creative arts activities for children
• preparation of imaginative resources
• organisational and management support
Good Work Foundation (GWF) is a registered NGO and currently operates four Digital Learning Centres in rural South Africa, three of them in Mpumalanga and one in the rural town of Philippolis in the Free State province, with a fifth due to open in 2016.
GWF supports rural communities through access to world-class education. Its digital learning centres are made up of academies that deliver vocational skills and career training to adult students and open learning in maths, English and conservation to school-aged learners through the medium of digital technology.
Career-Training Academies provide vocational skills courses and digital literacy tuition to adult students. About 90% of the current adult students are recent school-leavers who use the existing 12-month course as a “second-chance” bridging year. Included in that year is:
• International Computer Driving Licence certificate, an internationally recognized end-user Microsoft Office Suite accreditation
• Adult Basic Education and Training-aligned “English for Business” course.
• Leadership and life-skills programme developed by GWF.
• Career workshops and guidance.
At the end of the year, young people should be more “employable,” but they should also be in a position to sit at a computer in any rural space and enrol in an online diploma or degree.
Approximately 30% of these students then choose to specialise in one of the Academies. Some continue their studies in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Academy. Along with an advanced Microsoft Office program, the academy offers A+ certification (computer technician) and N+ certification (network technologies, installation, and configuration). Some specialise in the Hospitality Academy whose online multi-media and internationally recognise Lobster Ink programme equips students with a thorough introduction to food and beverage management and other fields of the hospitality industry, including specialised modules in wine and coffee. Others choose to advance their studies in the newly established Academies of Music, Conservation or Media, all designed to offer training in careers readily available in this area.
Open Learning Academies
focus on English literacy, maths literacy, digital literacy and life skills for eight rural and low-income elementary schools. These students are given access to tablet computers, to fully licensed education-based applications, and for the first time — under the guidance of digital learning facilitators — to technology that is focused on improving the “languages of access”: English and digital.
To learn more about how the volunteer programme works with this project read more here
We live in a digital age. Access to the world’s information now lies at our fingertips, whether we access it through our computer, our i-pad or our phone. In schools across the developed world it is becoming the main tool for learning, but in rural African schools, as in other developing countries, such technology is an impossible dream. How can overcrowded schools, with not enough teachers and few resources, be expected to build and maintain expensive media centres with the latest educational software and apps, let alone to have the digital expertise to make full use of them? So, more and more rural students are left behind because they cannot navigate the digital world, and the gap between the haves and the have-nots becomes wider and wider.
Hazyview Digital Learning Centre, which opened in 2012 in the village of Shabalala in the province of Mpumalanga, was built specifically to address this problem. Hazyview, and the other Digital Learning Centres run by Good Work Foundation, aim to bypass existing educational structures and methods and give students access to the world’s body of knowledge, and the skills to access it, through the use of digital technology.
Kate Groch, CEO of Good Work Foundation, says:
‘Access to great teachers, great technology, great curriculums and the Internet in rural Africa. Today it’s possible. Tablets make it possible. Cloud-based learning. Forward-thinking apps. Online course material. High-speed broadband. Inspired teachers. If we can use digital technology to leapfrog existing education structures, then we can change the lives of an entire generation of young people in rural Africa. And we believe we can.’