100 tablets were handed to pupils at Gariep High School in Prieska on Friday
The past 27 years in the democratic South Africa have brought many achievements in the education sector where a more modern way of teaching is now possible.
These were the remarks made by the Northern Cape MEC of Education, Zolile Monakali during the handover of 100 tablets at Gariep High School in Prieska on Friday, June 11, 2021.
The department in partnership with network service provider, MTN handed 100 tablets to Grade-12 learners at the school.
Monakali said new possibilities and discoveries exist as education is moving towards a more modern way of teaching and learning.
“We will equip educators and learners with 21st century technology as we prepare learners for the 4th industrial revolution. This revolution brings with it exciting possibilities, new solutions to global challenges, and employment opportunities for jobs that are yet to be invented. At the same time it comes with the potential for technological unemployment that drives downward pressure on income security and social agency while society adapts to the new normal,” said Monakali.
He said the current challenges the country has forced the government to come up with alternative ways of ensuring that teaching and learning continues.
“Combined with climate change and rapid global population growth this century is the most challenging that our humankind has ever faced. Governments, educators and parents alike must ask the question about how they can prepare the present and future generations to thrive in this transforming world.
“The reality is that the jobs of the future will be the ones that machines can do and it’s fair to say anything that can be measured or is based on rules will be automated. This is great news because it means we can automate the work and humanise the jobs,” he said.
Monakali said although the move towards a more modern and technological system is exciting, it however does not replace the importance humans play in this regard.
“There are key areas where humans beat machines that are key to future job creation, which are creative endeavours that include everything from scientific discovery to creative writing and entrepreneurship, social interaction is another factor.
“Robots just don’t have the kind of emotional intelligence that humans do. Physical dexterity and mobility, millennia of hiking mountains, swimming lakes and dancing practice gives humans extraordinary agility and physical dexterity. Those areas cannot be replaced by robots. It is beyond doubt that education is at the heart of preparing present and future generations to thrive. As a result it is vital that we have an education system that develops human potential rather than pits it against machines,” said Monakali.
He said the importance of physical teaching will not be disregarded or replaced by the tablets.
“For decades many people imagined that teaching as delivery, in the form of instruction, would mean that human teachers could eventually be replaced by computers. But this has misunderstood the nature of teaching and learning which is a uniquely personal and social activity between people that caters to every learner’s changing needs, unique talents, passions, and interests.,”he said.
He said the tablets are merely a way of strengthening teaching.
“The provision and utilisation of this resource will provide an invaluable platform for educators to strengthen content knowledge and classroom pedagogy and, ultimately, stimulate and enhance learners’ grasp of especially abstract and problematic content.
“The tablets come preloaded with a complete content repository of Grade-12 high value content and study guides. In addition to this, video lessons and animations have been loaded to simplify the learning experience. Sixteen apps with previous question papers and exercises have also been pre-loaded. Grade-12 learners will undoubtedly be able to use the tablets to improve learner outcomes through revision and consolidation, any time, with or without the teacher,” he said.