Celebrating World Teachers’ Day from a mobile classroom perspective
The annual UNESCO International World Teachers’ Day, which takes place on October 5th, is set to celebrate our educators and the role they play in the development of our students and society. This year’s theme – The Right to Education Means the Right to a Qualified Teacher – is all about what we stand for at Mobile Student Future.
With our high-tech mobile classrooms, we aim to increase accessibility of quality education by not only training educators and learners, but also by transferring qualified trainers and teachers to under served areas. The Department of Education has admitted that “rural education is in crisis” which stems from a lack of resources and quality education. Our mobile classrooms were established to overcome this barrier by transferring qualified teachers from urban areas to rural areas without them having to relocate, as well as having ICT resources readily available on the mobile units.
One of Mobile Student Future’s education projects, the PIC Maths and Science Teacher Skills Development Program, in partnership with the Public Investment Corporation, Modlin, and the Department of Education, set out on our Mathematics and Science Teacher Training journey – a mobile classroom training campaign. The objectives of the project were to empower teachers by saving them time in the preparation of various assessments, the moderation process and preparation of memorandums, to improve the content development of educators to assist in bridging the gap in knowledge that needs to be taught to learners, and to ensure sustainability by providing training, facilities and software to educators.
The project comprised of one mobile unit fully equipped with 14 computers installed with two state of the art learning applications supplied by Modlin, internet connectivity, vehicle operator/driver and an education facilitator from. The unit operated in rural areas of Mpumalanga and Gauteng during a one-year period, providing ongoing training to 165 educators and thus indirectly reaching approximately 7 425 students.
A lot of positive feedback was received about the applications as well as the project as a whole. The project also highlighted the advantages of using mobile units in providing educational and administrative services as opposed to brick and mortar facilities – below are some of the testimonials:
“(The mobile training facility) made it easier for the educators to learn, as this is a rural community with an unreliable electricity supply”
– Themba Sambo, educator at Malavutela Secondary School
“I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude for the PIC Maths and Science Teacher Skills Development Program held at our school. The project was well received, and the bus and the e-learning software was a wonderful and new way of executing teacher training. Our teachers were extremely grateful and found the initiative priceless in their ongoing learning. They provided feedback that the software was an invaluable tool in refreshing their current knowledge base and exposing them to new material within their discipline. We would be very happy to participate in any future events that may be provided.”
– Deputy Principal C. Muchiriri Chief S. W. Nhlapo Secondary School
“Questions in this program stimulate creative thinking starting from baseline questions for all topics. The bus attracts teachers to participate in the program.”
– Muchewgeti Zhou educator at Eric Nxumalo Secondary School Grade 12 Physical Science
Mr. Zhou also suggested that there should be more copies available of the software to share with learners so that they can also benefit in using it for practice.
Access to quality education is a basic human right. This Teachers’ Day, let us celebrate our educators and encourage the transferring of education resources to under served areas.