Thursday 6th as also a novel day as we headed off from the hotel for a meeting just a few minutes down the road in Pietermaritzburg - a contrast to the longer drives to which we have become accustomed. As we have talked with schools and education advisers one of the recurring themes has been that of a need for internet connectivity. We were hence keen to talk about plans for connecting more schools. In the province there are approx 6000 schools and today around 25% of them have connectivity of some sort in place so there is a lot of work needed. Also need to remember that this isn't just about connecting the schools but rather about connecting them as part of a broader program to link in other government services such as health centres and police stations.
Meeting over we took the opportunity of being in town to drop in to see one of the education centres that have been put in place to help support teachers.
The facilities available vary by centre and can include computers and internet connectivity to allow the teachers to do research on a topic they will be teaching.
The one that we were visiting is currently an extensive library with some private study space. It was spread over a few rooms all of which had that lovely smell you only get from a large collection of old books.
Lots of books to support teachers as they prepare for lessons or indulge in self study to develop their own skills. Today they lack connectivity and computer resources but all being well there are plans afoot to develop a new centre that will add these new and much needed capabilities to the support that they are able to offer.