The future now at their fingertips

2016-04-19 06:00
Parkwood Primary is currently undergoing a technological makeover as the school will receive a new technology centre through the efforts of engineering students.

Parkwood Primary is currently undergoing a technological makeover as the school will receive a new technology centre through the efforts of engineering students.

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A project to bring technological advancement at a Parkwood school is currently underway.

With promise to bring resources closer to the Parkwood community, the Parkwood Technological Centre is planned for Parkwood Primary and aims to bridge this gap.

Morgan Abbett, who is part of a group of engineering students from America and will materialise this project, says they are very excited to bring this project to the school.

The mission of the Parkwood Technology Centre is to create a safe environment that empowers Parkwood learners and the community to learn the skills they need to succeed in the digital age, she says.

“Parkwood Primary School teachers want to use computers as a tool to improve teaching and learning, but the school does not have adequate the space and computers to make that possible. We will solve these problems by expanding and upgrading an existing lab at Parkwood Primary School and replacing its outdated, dysfunctional computers with more reliable technology,” Abbett explains.

The new space has also incorporated safety, she says. “The new space will have extra security features and enough capacity to accommodate entire classes of children, making it a more useful space for teaching and learning. Additionally, the centre will provide computer access to parents and other community members who otherwise do not have access to technology after school hours,” Abbett says.

The project is an international collaboration between Parkwood Primary School, Bottomup and Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW) at Stanford University.

Abbett adds they need to need to raise money for the building project and the new computers by June and so far have donors from South Africa and the United States.

“Many learners in Parkwood struggle in school because gang violence, drug abuse, and tough family situations make it difficult for them to perform their best. Schools like Parkwood Primary are dedicated to improving the lives of these children through education, but they are under-resourced and can only do so much to combat larger social issues in the area,” she says.

The project will also enable teachers, equipping them with better tools to improve teaching and learning.

“It will upgrade resources at the school, giving teachers better tools to improve teaching and learning. And secondly, it will provide a space for parents and learners from schools in the area to access technology and training. Parkwood Estate does not have any public computer access – no library or internet cafe – so safe, affordable computer access at the Parkwood Technology Centre will make a big difference in the community.”

Abbett says the project has been in the making since 2014 already.

“This project has been in development since January 2014. Parkwood Primary was chosen largely because of the need demonstrated by the community, as well as the successful interventions already started by education nonprofit Bottomup,” she says.

Abbett says they are currently in need of ten new or used laptops as donations to supply the computer lab while they raise funds for technology.

V To learn more about the project visit http://parkwoodtechcentre.org. If you would like to make donations visit www.tinyurl.com/givengainPTC.

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