Mmusi Maimane launches e-learning centre in Cape Town for Mandela Day

To mark Mandela Day, a new e-learning centre has been opened in Athlone, Cape Town to make digital learning accessible to South African pupils.

Launched by One South African Movement chief activist Mmusi Maimane on Saturday, the centre seeks to facilitate a learning model that promotes contact time with teachers and online learning, Maimane said.

Mandela Day marked an ideal occasion to launch the project because former president Nelson Mandela saw education as paramount in the promotion of equality and inclusion, Maimane said.

The centre will ensure that pupils have access to technology and online resources, and will help reduce the number of pupils left behind due to a lack of access to digital resources.

“Some of the worst effects of apartheid were the miseducation and dehumanisation of black people. Those seeds of apartheid are still evident today and we can address them through education,” Maimane added.

“If we don’t make online learning accessible to students, we will introduce a digital apartheid where some learners are left behind because they don’t have access to technology and education. It’s our effort to advance all citizens, regardless of race, as we build one South Africa.”

Free access

The facility is equipped with workstations which are open to students free of charge.

Through a partnership with Reflective Learning, pupils will be able to focus on advancing their education in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

A second centre focused on promoting learning among girls will be launched in Gauteng in August, said Maimane, with the target of having 1,000 pupils access the centres by the end of the year.

Since leaving the DA last year, Maimane has taken his activism to South Africa’s education sector.

He has campaigned to have schools closed amid the Covid-19 pandemic and after he lost two court cases, he lobbied national stayaways.

Maimane has been vocal about the performance of Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, who he described as reckless for her decision to reopen schools during the pandemic.

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