New ePortal launched
The ePortal is a platform that will provide teachers and parents with the necessary online tools and resources to help learners to improve their educational results and to integrate them into a technology-driven society and jobs market.
Why we’ve built the ePortal
Our ePortal enables demand driven education and gives access and availability to learners and teachers to give input on their educational needs.
Learners can rate and request educational content. This ensures that content suppliers compete to create the best resources, as demanded by learners.
The ePortal represents a fundamental shift from top-down to demand-driven governance, providing learners with resources that they feel are most helpful.
This approach will revolutionise teaching and learning by placing the needs of schools first. This will also include the development of partnerships across the education sector (including corporates) and we’ll continue to work with the private sector in order to expand this project even further and encourage them to invest in new eTools and eTechnologies.
The eResources you’ll be able to access will cover a wide variety of themes and topics, including:
- Learning material: School curriculum, general knowledge exercises, learning techniques, and online courses.
- eLearning: Online courses, digital assignments, teaching online, computer literacy and hopes for online education.
- Special needs education: Learning material, extra-curricular activities, specialised schools, rules and regulations and emotional support.
- School life: Discipline, safety and security, bullying, parents’ involvement, and emotional and physical health.
- Exam preparation: Tests design, studying for exams, dealing with the stress of exams, exams monitoring, and valuating and marking
- Art of teaching: Becoming a teacher, teaching techniques, classroom management, planning classes, and theories in education.
- Finance and administration: School fees and bursaries, cost of education, school financial management, governmental education budget, and fundraising.
- Education policies: Admission policies, curriculum and exam policies, health and safety policies, transport policies, and progression policies.
Our game changer journey
The ePortal is an important milestone in our journey to enable game-changer initiatives in the Western Cape. We’re committed to expanding quality education across the province and providing opportunities for youth to realise their full potential.
One of our provincial game-changers is the rollout of eLearning in our schools. This game-changer falls under Strategic Goal 2: Improving Education Outcomes and Opportunities for Youth Development and the 4 main objectives of this strategic goal are to:
- improve language and mathematics in our primary schools (particularly the foundation phase),
- improve the number and quality of passes in the National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams,
- reduce the number of under-performing schools, and
- increase the learner retention rate in the province.
Our eLearning game-changer is designed to make a major contribution towards improving the quality of teaching and learning in the province and entrenching the skills people need to participate in our technology-driven economy.
How far we’ve come
eLearning has been a core priority for the Western Cape Department of Education (WCED) for over a decade. In November 2000, the decision was taken to introduce IT into our education system and we’ve been developing our systems continuously towards achieving the best tools and environment for our schools and learners.
Enhancing teaching and learning through technology
“The explosion of educational material and increasingly affordable hardware, is creating a new area of technology-rich smart classrooms, including innovations such as mobile trolleys with laptops, overhead projectors and other devices to assist teaching and learning,” said Premier Zille.
eLearning will enhance quality education by increasing access to quality ICT in disadvantaged communities, providing support for struggling learners, contributing toward teachers’ training and professional development, and improving management and administration at schools. It will also provide learners with the skills to participate in our increasingly technology based economy.
Training of educators began in January at the Cape Teaching and Leadership Institute and has so far included:
- basic training for educators on how the smart classroom technology works,
- sessions with principals so as to provide them with tools to ensure that the technology is utilised and that it’s sustained,
- content development courses focusing on developing skills to produce content for lessons for the teacher, by the teacher, and
- courses for educators on basic ICT skills.
As we move forward, the eLearning project will continue to roll out:
- a high-speed, real-time Wide Area Network (WAN),
- Local Area Networks (LANs) in schools,
- high-speed internet access to all Western Cape Schools,
- technology enriched classrooms (smart classrooms),
- computer laboratories,
- digital resources that are made available to all learners, parents and teachers, and
- ICT training and development programmes for teachers training.
We’ve also introduced a course which is aimed at providing teachers with a deep understanding on the nature of eLearning and eTeaching and the role that technology can play. It will focus on teachers producing eLessons, and will be applicable to all subjects.
The WCED is also planning pilot projects to test effective ways of using the latest technology and will work with teachers who already provide examples of best practice to ensure that the province makes the most of this opportunity.
The implementation of the broadband (WAN) is already underway. The Western Cape Government has completed the broadband infrastructure build at 460 sites, of which 344 are schools. This means that either optic fibre or wireless infrastructure has been installed at the 460 sites to date.
The WAN implementation will then enable the Western Cape Government to provide Local Area Networks (LANs) in schools. School sites will also be fitted with a wireless distributed network (WiFi) for internet and inter-connectivity within a school.
Where and how to access the ePortal
Contribute online content
Do you have an educational app, video, book, course or eResource? If your answer is yes, then you’re invited to register your materials or services on the ePortal, which provides access to learning and teaching material that’s aligned to the curriculum and is of the required standard.
For more information you can