Free internet at all Western Cape schools

The Western Cape schools will have free high-speed internet access by the end of 2016, to support teaching and learning, said Premier Helen Zille on Tuesday at the launch of eLearning “Game-Changer” at the province’s Legislature building in Cape Town. By Staff Writer

The Western Cape Government is investing R3.8 billion over the next 10 years to bring high-speed broadband to all residents of the Western Cape.  Over the next decade, R2 billion of the total investment will be on connectivity at schools.

The broadband system will provide a Wide Area Network (WAN). A total of 581km of fibre optic cable will have been laid by the end of 2016, alongside the existing 1251km Neotel cable network. This is the backbone that connects all schools and other sites across the province.

“Our vision is to use eLearning to improve literacy and numeracy, and to ensure that our learners are better prepared for the 21st century, said Zille.

The eLearning programme has two key parts: The first is free high-speed broadband access. The second is to give learners and teachers instant access to the very best digital materials for teaching and learning. That is why we are also launching our new ePortal today.

As at 31 August 2015, service providers have completed connectivity at 275 schools. By the end of 2016, all schools in the province will have free, high-speed internet access.

The plan also includes investment in technology in “smart classrooms”, including interactive whiteboards, laptops, projectors and other devices to support teaching and learning.

In addition, students will be able to use their own devices, and we are working on plans to achieve more affordable access to these essential learning resources.



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