Trevor Noah Foundation equips Soweto digital learning centre

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The Trevor Noah Foundation, with its partners – Microsoft SA Philanthropies and Edunova – opened a digital learning centre at Siyabonga Secondary School in Bram Fischerville, Soweto.

Siyabonga Secondary School is a partner school of the foundation’s schools initiative, the Khulani Schools programme.

In a statement, the foundation says the Khulani Schools learning centre at Siyabonga secondary is more than a physical space with computers, but a technology-rich, modern integrated workspace geared towards enabling 21st-century learning.

Furthermore, it looks to be a vehicle to facilitate collaborative training, support and access to both physical and conceptual technological and educational resources.

“What do we want kids to do with technology? We want them to use it as a tool, not an outcome,” says John Thole, CEO of Edunova.

Rachel Mokonza, deputy principal at Siyabonga Secondary School, adds: “Our kids don’t want to read books anymore, but when you put them on a computer screen, it changes everything.”

The statement further highlights the centre will run after-school programmes that include, but are not limited to, language club, STEM club, coding clubs, digital art and graphic design, as well as community training.

Edunova information technology enablers, with the support of an ICT coordinator, will manage the programmes by making use of a timetable set up by the school’s ICT committee. The timetable will meet and support the curriculum needs within the school and help improve educational outcomes.

In addition, the learning centre will serve as a resource facility that enables training and support for teachers. A key objective is to empower school leaders and teachers to adopt and use technology effectively in the classroom, notes the statement.

“BBT means born before technology. We need to move forward, but it must start with us principals. We can pump in resources, but it will not work if teachers are not moving with the technology,” says Jabu Kunene, Eqinisweni Secondary School principal.

Established in 2018 by the South African comedian and host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central, the Trevor Noah Foundation is a youth development initiative that enhances youth preparedness for higher education or entry into the workforce.

In partnership with Microsoft SA Philanthropies over the years, the foundation has provided training to learners and teachers to improve digital skills, while enabling educators to enhance learning through technology. With Edunova, the partnership initiative aims to impact 150 teachers, 4 500 learners and over 3 000 community members across three schools.

“We are here to empower our schools and communities through education, skills development and training, and we couldn’t be more excited about the growth we now see,” concludes Shalane Yuen, executive director of the Trevor Noah Foundation.

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