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IBM supports improved classroom learning

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

An international team of IBM employees chosen for the company's Corporate Service Corps (CSC) programme has arrived in South Africa to volunteer their expertise to help improve the level of education for early learners in Eastern Cape schools.

As part of the four-week project, the team will work alongside the Eastern Cape Department of Education to assess how information and communication technology (ICT) can add value to the core operations of the Education Department and how the integration of technology can positively impact classroom learning levels.

The team will build on the work undertaken by previous CSC teams based in Limpopo Province that developed a monitoring and evaluation system, along with a detailed implementation plan for the KidSmart Early Learning Programme. The monitoring and evaluation tool will be localised to suite the specific needs of the Eastern Cape Department of Education.

The ultimate aim of project is to improve the quality of classroom learning through the integration of technology and improved professional development and teacher support. One specific example of a technology-based resource that can be leveraged for significant student achievement is IBM's Kidsmart Early Learning Programme.

As part of its KidSmart programme, IBM donated 100 Young Explorer computer learning centres in 2011 to the Eastern Cape Department of Education. Early education practitioners will be trained in teaching and learning with ICT and they will reach more than 50,000 children once the evaluation system is defined.

The team of 14 IBM employees from 6 countries, which include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, India and the United States of America, will work on the ground in East London and surrounds for one month, beginning this week. They will work with a number of local organisations including the Eastern Cape Department of Education and Eastern Cape Rural Finance Corporation.

"IBM is partnering with the Eastern Cape Education Department as part of our ongoing commitment to the National Department of Education." said Oliver Fortuin, Country General Manager of IBM South Africa. "The efforts of our international colleagues will compliment the work we currently undertake as part of our MOU with the Department of Education in Limpopo and Eastern Cape."

This is the ninth IBM Corporate Service Corps team to work in South Africa. Previous teams to South Africa have worked in Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Eastern Cape as well as most recently with the City of Johannesburg.

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