Students from Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York, USA were visiting awarenet sites in Grahamstown through a university study abroad course being facilitated by Dr. Timothy Eatman and Mr. Jason Torreano. The students are working on the course and working closely with Inkululeko to develop sustainable, enterprising projects that can be used by Inkululeko learners and staff. Here are some of their thoughts after the visit.
After visiting numerous non-profits in my time in Grahamstown, I noticed an influx of energy all the kids brought to the classroom. The awarenet programme was one of the settings where the kids were most energetic and excited to participate on the computers. After watching the kids though, I noticed that they were slower at typing than children in the US. Because the kids only have limited access to computers I understand why the kids were at the level they were. Regardless, all the kids seemed to be putting in a good effort. When we walked in the lesson was already explained and the kids seemed to have a good understanding of what was going and were able to explain to me prior projects. They finished in good timing and even had time to teach me a little Xhosa. I enjoyed my time visiting the awarenet session. I think the kids really enjoy the opportunity to work on the computers there. Nicole Keler
After working with students in Grahamstown for a little over a week, I’ve noticed that computer literacy is something I really take for granted. In the U.S., most kids can type faster than their parents by the time they’re 10 years old. I guess I never thought about kids struggling to find letters on a keyboard. It’s really important that students get at least some exposure to computers while they’re young, so that they don’t get left behind in a world that relies to heavily on technology. Allison Clark
awarenet provides students from townships access and knowledge of computers. I think it is a great program because awarenet gives students the technical skills that some may otherwise go without. Because computer skills are essential in today’s global economy awarenet fills in the gap for those who due to life circumstances may get left behind. Aracely Hernandez
Having spoken to Dr. Wertlen and Ms. Penney about awarenet, it was fantastic to come and see the platform being used at C.M. Vellum Higher Primary School. We have spoken on several occasions about having Inkululeko and awarenet work closely together to support the learners Inkululeko serves. The program is enterprising, interactive and is well suited to meet the needs to the learners in Grahamstown. I am looking forward to seeing what the future brings! Jason Torreano
Thank you for your mindful thoughts. We appreciate your interest in our programme and a cooperation between the NGOs. We are looking forward to the coming mutual projects and the outcome of your course!