On 2 October 2015, the President, his Excellency Jacob Zuma, officially launched the Education Operation Phakisa — “Leveraging in ICTs to strengthen education in South Africa”. This hugely ambitious programmes seeks to roll out ICT in all schools in South Africa within the next four to five years.
The launch was the culmination of an intensive four-week “laboratory” that brought together some of the most important stakeholders in the sector to formulate detailed and sustainable implementation plans on how ICTs can best be used to leverage improved education outcomes in the country. The laboratory, held in Gauteng, lasted from 6 September to 1 October 2015. Participants included high-level officials from the Department of Basic Education and Provincial Education Departments, as well as sister government departments (including the Departments of Telecommunications & Postal Services; Science and Technology; Communications; and National Treasury), teacher unions and the business sector. MIET Africa was pleased to send a representative to participate on behalf of civil society.
Much of the laboratory’s work was done in various “work streams” that covered the spectrum of ICT rollout, specifically: ICT Life Cycle Management, Connectivity; e-Administration; Curriculum and Digital Content; and Teacher Professional Development. Detailed “three-feet plans” were developed and costed for each of these initiatives.
Operation Phakisa has the potential to radically transform education in South Africa, and MIET Africa is immensely proud to have participated in its development and to be associated with it.