As a response to the Covid-19 pandemic and closure of schools, in July this year Awarenet purchased a set of tablets for its learners. The reliance on digital learning even in some of the most poorly resourced South African schools has laid bare the digital divide in South Africa, showing how difficult it is for children from low-income households to study from home without access to internet nor proper digital devices.
Through grants from both the South African German Network and the Learning Trust awarenet has provided the learners from its various high school core groups in the ages of 12 to 19 an opportunity to borrow a tablet on a weekly basis.
The learners have been very excited about their tablets which they get to take home for a week; the most frequent comment about the tablets from the learners is that it has made a huge difference in helping them keep up with their school work under difficult circumstances.
The awarenet team has installed a number educational apps on the tablets covering a wide range of school subjects. Many learners have also on their own initiative installed additional educational apps on the devices; this they do when taking the tablets to awarenet’s premises at the Joza Youth Hub using our Wifi.
We are proud to have such a focused group of young people in our program who take responsibility for their own learning!
A multitude of audiobooks and e-books have also been installed on the tablets, increasing the exposure of our learners to literature and reading for pleasure. In addition, examples of past exam papers have also been included as pdf-files; something particularly appreciated by our older learners who face many difficult school examinations in the near future.
Due to the overwhelmingly positive response from our learners we hope to expand our tablets focus by purchasing many more tablets and making them an integral part of our educational program.