Vodacom SA hosts Mobile workshop for National ICT Centre managers

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vodacom centre managersAfter three years of a dream being realized the Vodacom Foundation gathered together forty Resource Centre managers for a workshop at the Protea hotel in Midrand. The first evening of the workshop was filled with laughter, dancing and LOUD DRUM BEATS by drum café.  Mr Mthobeli Tengimfene Executive Head CSI projects of the Vodacom Foundation welcomed all stake holders; present were the national Department of Education, Cisco and SchoolNet SA. To end the night delegates were lead to dinner at the hotel.


Mthobeli formally welcomed all delegates and introduced workshop objectives under the theme, “Where to from here?”

He took us back to year 2010 when the project was still at conception phase then he gradually took us through how it was executed to date. Seeing that the project had grown bigger he was on a quest to seek for assistance in “taking the dream to the next level”

It is by answering the following questions,

1. Is this a sustainable project?
2. Is the current state of the project a true reflection of what was initially planned?
3. Is there more that can be done to realise better impact?

With the aim to answer Mthobeli’s questions, Josine facilitated a work session themed “The next level”. Participants were divided into groups, given A3 plain white sheets of paper and tasked to create a storyboard for a movie. The task was to look at the current state of the centres and dream about the future.

Michelle York from CSI presented on knowing the difference between Output and Impact. The motive behind the presentation was as follows:

1. There are too many “white elephant projects”
2. Too much money spent on the unknown
3. Sustained projects with no impact

She talked through Input (money spent, resources and time, online consolidation help) and how they should be used with the end in mind. There seems to be a lot of celebrations on Output and implied impact (mostly story telling mainly media based) and there is less focus on achieving tangible results i.e. increased employment rates due to projects and this is where most projects fail.

Her advice was with every Input to have Impact in mind.

Omashani Naidoo conducted an engaging presentation on continuous teacher development and her focus was on teaching how learners learn. Through an online evaluation she gathered information on what participants thought about her topic and from their responses managed to direct their thinking on what continuous teacher development is. These are finding from the discussions,

  1. Continuous teacher development involves formal and informal education.
  2. Sharing and imparting of skills
  3. Seeking channels of growth in any engagement
  4. Motivating people around you to learn and grow along with you
  5. Finding ways and means to move on to greater heights

Josine facilitated a work session themed “The next level” .She requested them to go back to their story board and see how they could incorporate learnings/findings from the two presentations into the vision they had. This meant they now had to create a vision with the end in mind. This vision has to be realistic, sustainable and have impact, it had to be an exciting and continuously enriching vision with the aim to motivate and enable growth.

Mthobeli presented on the CISCO Youth skills programme which is an ad hoc project attached to the centre programme. After realising the reality of the youth unemployment rate, Vodacom CSI and CISCO joined forces to try and equip 15 out of school youth with CISCO training and certification that may possibly allow them to be employable and or be entrepreneurs. The project has started in the NC and NW, remaining seven centres will follow by the year 2014.

To close the day Lawrie Golding Head coach at Gruber injury lawyers did an inspirational talk themed” BUILT FOR A MISSION”

His talk was on striving to complete every task given with zeal for we never know what our destiny holds. He focused a bit on appreciating people that surround us despite their capability or incapabilities. The following are some statements he shared

  1. Listen to learn not to respond
  2. Never underestimate the power of stupid people in a room full of people
  3. Take some time off to play
  4. There is never a disabled body only a disabled mind
  5. 5D’d-dream.desire, determination, destination has no control over destiny
  6. Serve before Self

Day 3

Deputy Minister Enver Surty addressed participants on the importance of private organizations uniting with the department to aid as a catalyst in the education sphere. This would assist in addressing some of the social and educational ills that South Africa is currently faced with.

He spoke about how programmes such as Vodacom Mobile education can change focus on the most important vehicle in education. If the focus is on nurturing and up skilling our educators coupled with a good quality education system we are sure to bring out the best in education. He also spoke about how cell phones and these centres alleviate concerns on the digital divide.

Haroon Mahomed presented on how the centres can try to align their work with the DBE Teacher Education and Development Framework to try and strengthen the former education system, to address the development needs of practising teachers in a targeted fashion. This would be achieved by using the ISPFTED 2011-2025.

After facilitated work session two there was a recommendation to Vodacom for an ICT Resource Centre management information system to be built. This was recommended after there were long discussions on trying to minimise administration work for centre managers and to create a reliable reporting structure. Claude Tshimanika the Deputy Director of curriculum Innovation and E-Learning DBE took us through a management system in progress with the intention to understand what the centres required.

Mario Marais from the CSIR made a presentation on the Cofimvaba project (ICT4RED)

He explained how the learning by earning badges motivates educators to strive to complete their work and how by completing the different levels they get to earn prizes for their work. This process had made them support each other in trying to reach higher levels in learning.

Omashani Naidoo and Chulekazi Bula from the Eastern Cape assisted Mario by sharing some of their observations from being a part of the project.

Josine facilitated the final work session which was themed, “The next level, what will I do to get there?” The focus of this session was to,

  1. Gather feedback about the workshop
  2. Share ideas on ways to turn participants visions into reality
  3. Motivate centre managers to work with the end in mind

Participants were tasked to think about how they formed a Community of practice and to think of different ways of nurturing and growing their communities.

There were four awards for centre managers and they were awarded as follows:
Innovation Award- NC
Digital Award –MP
Community Award –EC
All Centre Managers were awarded the commitment and dedication Award
Overall Award-MP

Mthobeli closed the workshop by a vote of thanks.

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