Hlomla Webber, Grade 7 learner at Holy Cross Primary School immersed in one of the various aspects that Encylopaedia Britannica offers.
GEORGE NEWS - Five schools in the Eden District Municipality were given access to an online version of the Encylopaedia Britannica as reward for their excellent results in the 2010 provincial literacy and numeracy tests.
This online education programme contains news, video- and music clips, games, an ‘animal of the day’ to learn about and an online library for research.
Available in various languages, each learner can also save their research in a personal file to be accessed, even from home.
An added bonus is that youngsters are learning to use computers and the internet, as well as the dangers of plagiarism, at the same time.
It is also a useful tool for educators. They can access learning plans and objects for various school lessons.
At Holy Cross Primary School, Mrs Carin Whitehead tells the George Herald that so far, all the school’s learners have loved accessing the programme.
With the grades 4 to 6 spending one and half hours in the computer lab and the Grades 00 to 3, one hour, Mrs Whitehead has progressively introduced the programme to the learners.
"Each family will receive a username and password, but access is restricted to only 50 users at a time," Whitehead adds. It means that children with internet access at home can use the programme there.
Two staff members from Holy Cross Primary attended a training course in Cape Town during the July holidays.
Grade 7L learner, Megan Auberg says "it’s fun to use...you can find everything on it." Classmate Pericles Vougdis says "it’s nice and very educational". He enjoyed playing an educational game identifying animals that live in water versus those that make their home on land.
Another school receiving the Encylopaedia Britannica Education programme is Mzoxolo Primary School in Lawaaikamp. With ample computers and internet access, the school’s principal, Mr RG Eagan, said that his learners would access the programme from this week.
When the George Herald visited the school last week, young learners excitedly sat two to a computer but happily read aloud with their teacher from the computer screens.
Mzoxolo does not have a specific computer teacher and therefore the staff member responsible for implementing the Encylopaedia Britannica Education programme must train colleagues to access this programme. Mr Eagan noted that last week they faced the obstacle of electricity failures. The Department of Education hopes to expand this project to other schools in the future. It needs to do a thorough infrastructural inventory of the schools in the province.
The value of this programme is R12 000 per school.
Mzoxolo Primary School staff members attended a prizegiving in Cape Town earlier this year to celebrate their improvement in literacy and numeracy results. The staff were congratulated by Education Minister Mr D Grant (left) and consisted of Mrs MA Dukashe (HoD Foundation Phase), Mr RG Eagan (principal), Mr M Mandla (School Governing Body Chairperson) and Mrs P Vinjeveld (Western Cape Education Department SG).