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On Saturday, 5 October 2019, Laudium Secondary School officially opened the first ICT research centre of its kind at a school in Gauteng and possibly South Africa. The centre was sponsored by the LSS Class of 1973 which was spearheaded by Mr. Ahmed Jaffer a former SGB chairperson of the school.
The Two Centres were named after the first Principal Mr. Krishna Lingham (1965-1977) and Mr. E. Moosa 2nd Principal (1978-1993). Both families attended the function and were extremely grateful that the legacy of their parents were once again honoured by the school and donors. Dr. Thiru Vandeyar Senior lecturer in Computer Integrated Education at the University of Pretoria was our special guest speaker. He demonstrated the use of technology in the classroom and focused on the need for educators to be more involved with ICT training and development.
The ICT research centre was conceptualised by the former Principal Daya Chetty after he visited the United States on a Fulbright Scholarship program at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. During his study they used libraries which had conference rooms for students with high speed internet connectivity, 65” television screens, laptops and designer furniture which make the room resemble a 21st century office.
The research centre in the library will allow learners to read books but also be able to watch the movie and skype an educator to ask questions whether the educator is at home, absent or perhaps contact an educator with advanced skills in another school or country.
The research centre also allows learners to meet in larger groups to discuss their lessons, research from the platform and have discussions. The room will provide learners with greater freedom to investigate and gain facts for themselves.
Majority of learners at our school come from impoverished backgrounds where this type of technology is not available or affordable. It will allow learners from a public school to compete with their peers in private and affluent schools. The room resembles an office boardroom and this will bring them closer to the real working world and how it operates.
Educators at the school will now be able to meet as subject groups and plan their lessons with more innovation and bring the lesson “alive”. Blended learning is the current 21st century pedagogy and educators need to meet with the demands and challenges this poses. Thus all educators will have to embrace the 4th and 5th Industrial Revolution.
Learners will soon be more advanced than educators with modern technology and if educators don’t change their style of teaching from “chalk and talk” in the classroom they will be left behind and not be relevant to the needs of the child. Coding and robotics will also be introduced at the school shortly which will be the starting of the new age of learning and practice.
"It is my wish that this ICT research centre becomes a place where our learners, educators and parents will meet more often to discuss the future educational goals of our country." Since schools normally close on Fridays with not much activity over the weekend that the community and business support the school by booking these venues for board meetings and other similar activities so that the income generated can sustain and improve this facility.
"I wish to thank the Class of 1973 for their generosity in raising over R100 000 towards this ICT research centre, the vision of the SGB and staff of LSS for embracing and supporting this venture. I trust this centre will place Laudium Secondary on the ICT and technology platform of the leading schools in the world." added Mr Daya.
Mr. A. Jaffer said,” I want to thank my fellow class of 1973 for supporting this vision and for investing in Laudium Secondary as a leading public school in the country. Our teachers from that era need to be applauded and commended for the excellent education they provided and for ensuring that students during our era became professionals in the medical, legal, Accounting, education fields and other careers paths. We honour all of them and will later place a plaque at LSS to acknowledge their contribution. We really hope that both the educators and learners will use the ICT centre to make a quantum leap by using technology to be the cutting edge in education.”
“You cannot wait until a house burns down to buy fire insurance on it. We cannot wait until there are massive dislocations in our society to prepare for the 4th Industrial Revolution.”
Robert J.Shiller, 2013 Nobel laureate in Economics, Yale University.
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