The Future of Rural Education: The Good Work Foundation (GWF) – a South African non-profit organization, aims to address a need to improve access to education, personal development and the global stage in rural Africa, with a view to maximize the reach from independently managed hubs of digital education. The organization has been developing a model of locally managed Digital Learning Campuses (or “hubs”) that improve an individual’s ability to operate the 21st Century “languages of access” – digital, English and self-creativity.
The aim of each Digital Learning Campus is to: (1) Create an access “bridge” between school and work, preparing rural adults for life in a global, connected world; (2) Become a hub of digital learning for public-sector elementary schools that can outsource their digital learning to the centre (The Open Learning Academy); and (3) Reduce the “digital divide”, providing rural people with the opportunity to actively participate in today’s online economy.
Our Digitally Powered Prototype: Hazyview Digital Learning Campus or HDLC is the first campus of its kind located on the border of the Kruger National Park in the province of Mpumalanga, South Africa. Since opening in September 2012, more than 750 adults have graduated with internationally recognized qualifications in IT literacy. Today, seven primary schools send their grade four students to the Center for digital literacy tuition, as well as supplementary English and Math tuition on digital devices. The first school to attend HDLC has seen a 30 percent improvement in their year-on-year Math and English results. It is estimated that the second phase implementation of the plan will reach 5,000 schoolchildren by January 2017.