University of the Free State, South Africa
South Africa values education and sees it as the most powerful weapon to change the world.
That’s easier said than done, though.
South Africa is ranked 132 out of 144 countries by the World Economic Forum. A lack of quality teachers and severe home conditions in rural areas has resulted in some South African provinces having 80% of schools classified as failing.
The University of the Free State’s ICT Innovation in School Education Department (ICTISE) was challenged to provide support in core subjects to 60 schools within the Free State province.
The university began using daily live Mediasite webcasts.
ICTISE provides support on core subjects such as mathematics, physical science, life science, economics, accounting and geography, to 60 at-risk high schools in the Free State Province in preparation for their final exit exams.
Highly-qualified teachers from around the Free State province record lectures in the ICTISE studio using Mediasite. The schools receive three hours of webcasts each day, as well as preparation and support for Grade 12 exams and revision. Teacher development and training programs are also provided.
Prior to using webcasts, Sarietjie Musgrave, Head of ICTISE, compared how the university felt to the internationally recognized 2010 educational film “Waiting for Superman” that documents the failures of the American public education system.
“Before Mediasite it was a bit like waiting for Superman. But now we can send Superman to all schools and any classroom within South Africa and wider Africa 24/7 and do it cost effectively.”
Pass rates have jumped from 26 percent to 100 percent in some rural South African high school classrooms.
The future of the project looks bright, because the National Department of Education in South Africa wants to implement the project in all nine South African provinces.
“Before Mediasite it was not possible to provide cost-effective daily support to teachers and learners across the Free State,” said Sarietjie Musgrave, Head of ICTISE at the university. “Now, we are recognized in South Africa as the state with the highest pass rate.”