SUNRIDGE Primary School in Port Elizabeth has recently teamed up with DigiTV to launch the first school TV channel in the province, called SunridgeTV. The channel went live on November 7, airing the school’s u-13A cricket match against Priority.DigiTv’s Hannes Nienaber approached the school and provided an opportunity to start their own TV channel via the internet. Sunridge Primary is the first primary school in the country, as well as the first school in the Eastern Cape, to have their own TV channel with DigiTV. “We as DigiTV provide schools with a platform to have their own TV channel via the internet. Our vision is to give different communities the opportunity to have their own TV channels. “We see for example schools, churches and municipalities as communities,” Nienaber said.The channel broadcasts everything that is happening within the school from assemblies to open days, choir performances, debating, social events, sport and news programmes. Nienaber further explained, “This will give grandparents, alumni from the school and parents who work out of town an opportunity to follow their school, grandkids and children more closely.”A producer is appointed to the school to run the channel and provide training to learners with the different functions within the productions.“What is unique about the channel is that the learners of the school help to run it. The producer, Philip Redelinghuys, assists learners with camerawork, mixing, editing, commentating and presenting. “We believe that we are providing children with a stepping stone for one of the jobs in the future,” Nienaber said. According to Nienaber, internet is needed to gain access to the channel via the website, DigiTV.co.za, from a cellphone, tablet, laptop or Smart TV. “When accessing the website for the first time, you will need to register and select the TV stations you wish to follow. The only cost the school provides is the connectivity for the live streaming of events,” he said.Even though the channel does not generate funds for the school, it has become a great tool for learners to explore the filming industry.Sunridge’s deputy principal, Hendrik Janse van Rensburg, said, “I think the absolute winner is the fact that families across the globe can see the learners participate. “We also have a few learners that can learn the trade of filming.”Janse van Rensburg expressed gratitude on behalf of the staff at Sunridge Primary for the immense opportunity. “Everybody is excited and grateful and our primary school learners just want to feature on TV the whole time,” he said.DigiTV is currently partnering with schools that are innovative and open to embrace future technology to give more valuable opportunities to their learners. “Sunridge Primary, with its headmaster, Mauritz de Vries, falls within this category. They are leaders within the Eastern Cape community and we are proud of our association with them,” Nienaber added.DigiTv launched their first TV station in March this year at Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch. Other schools that already have TV Stations around the country include Grey College (Bloemfontein), Diamantveld (Kimberley), Eldoraigne (Pretoria), Monument (Krugersdorp), Glenwood (Durban), Durban High School and HTS Drostdy (Worcester).