Primary school wins iPad lab

2019-10-01 06:00
Your iPad screen is not going to stay factory-fresh.

Your iPad screen is not going to stay factory-fresh. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Hard work and determination paid off for Factreton Primary School. It is now equipped with the latest educational technology – an iPad laboratory.

The school won this year’s Growsmart Literacy competition and the prizes include 20 iPads, 20 headphones, a projector and each learner received R20 000 which will go towards their tuition fees.

The prizes were delivered to the school on Tuesday 17 September.

According to Juan Smith, teacher, and mentor at the school, this was their fifth attempt to win the competition, and they put in a lot of effort.

Smith was on sick leave when the preparations for the finals started.

“It was not easy. I had to work from home and had to involve the parents as well. Luckily, I had a great team of dedicated learners. This is indeed a very good achievement for us,” says Smith.

Despite being off sick, he frequently went to the school to help the three participating learners with spelling, memorising, and translating different words from a prescribed educational newspaper.

Smith also took advantage of social media to raise awareness and to encourage parents to help the learners to study at home.

He would then, directly interact with the parents of Juliet Ndawayo, Sheldon Gladden and Inako Tu.

He says the support and team spirit is what kept his team going.

The results are now beneficial to all – the iPad lab will help improve the quality of learning and teaching. It is an addition to their computer lab, says Smith.

Explaining his determination, Smith says he has over the years wanted to prove, and to give hope to the learners that despite their circumstances, they could achieve anything in life.

He says their learners come from communities tormented by crime and fear of death.

Nolonwabo Tu from Khayelitsha, a parent commends the school for the good work, saying the competition was beneficial for her daughter Inako, not just academically, but financially too. “I had not paid her fees yet. Now, I no longer have to worry about it. She will also get to buy what she needs for school. I am truly happy,” says Nolonwabo.

She says Inako took the competition very serious and would give them (family) a list to help her practices the words.

Inako says: “I felt so emotional, I never expected that we would win because we thought there was a tiebreaker, but we won with one point.”

The school scooped the first place, beating five other schools – Blue Downs Primary (second), Balvenie Primary School of Elsies River third).

Two other schools that made it to the finals were Mandalay Primary School and Thomas Wildschutt Primary (Retreat).

The competition took place at the V&A Waterfront on Saturday 14 September.

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