As reported previously, Net vir Pret is acting as facilitating partner for two educational initiatives which promise to have great benefits for our community. The PETS project (Putting Educational Technology into Schools) is testing the viability of employing information and communications technology for delivering distance learning materials to teachers and PRAESA (Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa) aims to establish its Nal’ibali programme in Barrydale which uses e-readers and the mass media to deliver story material and teaching methodologies to teachers and to form reading clubs.
Both projects got off the ground during April when Dr. Michael Rice, Mary Debrick and Josie Frater from PETS and Dr. Carole Bloch from PRAESA came up to meet the group of educators who have volunteered to take part. The 17 participants have formed five study groups, teachers from (1) Barrydale High, (2) BF Oosthuizen Primary, (3) Weltevrede, Lemoenshoek and Vleiplaas Farm Schools, with Net vir Pret staff and interns forming the fifth.
The PETS programme is focused on methodology for teaching fractions to Grades 3 and 4 and this is already in full swing, with Mary writing material and the different groups testing and evaluating its effectiveness while PRAESA has already delivered e-readers and block books to participants.