Heeding President Cyril Ramaphos’a Sona (State of the Nation Address) announcement, earlier this year, regarding a greater focus on the digital economy and the fourth industrial revolution (4IR), Leading ICT distribution company, Pinnacle continues to play a critical role in the roll-out of the HPI Education offering to the South African education sector.
Since the beginning of 2015, HP’s goal has been to enable better learning outcomes for 100 million people by 2025. 28+ million teachers, students and lifelong learners have benefited from the company’s education programmes and solutions by 2019. This includes the HP Turn to Learn programme which was introduced by HP President and CEO, Enrique Lores in April 2020. The programme focuses on delivering educational content curated from leading scientific, publishing and media companies.
Pinnacle’s Education Portfolio Manager, Natasha Davies said HP’s global education goal is novel, in that the solutions provided are not built around specific devices. “Instead, initiatives are aligned with the learning experiences of students and educators. There’s a strong focus on the education value chain and the segmentation chain needed to deliver the right solution and devices so institutions can achieve their learning objectives and outcomes,” she said.
While there are many challenges facing classroom digitization in South Africa, Davies notes that the primary issue is lack of access to technology and/or connectivity, resulting in large-scale computer illiteracy. According to Davies “the education sector itself is not always ready for adoption and deployment of technology within the classroom. With the sudden onset of Covid-19 forcing a change in both work and learning institutions, the need has become even greater”.
To counteract this, she said we have digital solutions designed to address the shortcoming of technology in the classroom and home environment. “We are also aware that a critical part of any digital education initiative is that of educating the educator. It is vital to ensure teachers are familiar with any technology implemented before they begin using it in the classroom,” added Davies.
Given the current situation, Lores said: “We must find creative new ways for teachers and students to connect from a distance- because while this pandemic is creating hardship for so many around the world right now, we cannot afford to let it hold back the generation that will shape our future.”