Pupils and teachers at Forest Town School for Learners with Special Needs have been given iPads to empower them with technological skills.
Today the Deputy Minister of Social Development, Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, handed over 40 iPads to the school. The handover is part of PPC’s iPad Learning Programme, which was rolled out at the school early last year. Twenty iPads were handed over during the pilot project.
The school makes use of these special devices to help learners understand subjects better, while enjoying themselves at the same time.
The iPads allow learners with speech difficulties to communicate effectively with their teachers. Instead of pointing out from a book of signs what a learner wants to tell a teacher, for example, needing to use the bathroom, learners can now type on the iPad for the teacher to read.
Deputy Minister Bogopane-Zulu commended the initiative by Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC), saying it gives children with disabilities the best opportunity to introduce them to technology.
“Without technology, we would not be able to operate on the same level as our peers but now they can’t beat us,” the Deputy Minister said.
She praised the “amazing” level of commitment and respect the teachers at the school have for learners.
“Today is about [recognising] the educators, who, without all these fancy things, believed in the abilities of the children they teach and believed that they can fly,” the Deputy Minister said.
School teacher Norma Grenzenberg said the iPads are making a phenomenal difference in their school, especially for the children.
She said after receiving the first 20 iPads, many teachers received training and the children are enjoying using them.
“Our speech and occupational department will use the iPads and 16 learners, who are non-verbal and in wheelchairs, who can’t participate fully in the classroom, will learn what is needed through the therapy department,” said Grenzenberg.
She said the school’s vision is for every child to have an iPad to work on in class.
PPC CEO Darryl Castle said the company tries to do things that are sustainable and make a long-term difference.
“The programme provides a bridge between learning and going out into the real world. We’ve seen the relevance of the project and saw that it is working.”
Source : SAnews.gov.za