Over the past few weeks Helderberg Road, Bishop Lavis was dug up, trenches dug as the subcontractors of Neotel busied themselves in bringing the Optic Fibre Network to our school as part of the eLearning AS A STRATEGIC GAME-CHANGER project. Over the past few years, ADSL was the main Internet connection for most home users and business. Currently, there is a massive roll-out of Fibre to the Home (FTTH), all across South Africa. Once again the roll-out is occurring predominantly in upper-class suburbs, so it’s quite an achievement to have Fibre Internet connection coming to schools like ours in the townships. Usually, when you point this out, the roll-out of technology to previous white areas the race card is quickly flashed into your face. So we should commend the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) for really taking the Game Changer Policy seriously.
In order to accelerate the delivery of access to a digitally enabled environment, schools have provisionally been divided into three categories namely, universal, enhanced and model schools.
Universal schools will initially have basic access to the internet through a computer lab or an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) suite. In these schools, the WCG will give learners and teachers access to digital resources through WAN via labs and central Wi-Fi access points.
Enhanced schools are those schools who have or will be receiving LAN over the period of the game-changer. LAN facilitates access to WAN and allows wireless connectivity in classrooms. Teachers will initially receive devices to take advantage of this access and learners may be allowed access through a Bring your Own Device (BYOD) model.
Model schools will implement the full eLearning environment, integrating eLearning into their teaching practices, developing and contributing eContent, establishing an eCulture and developing best practice processes that will be beneficial to schools in the long term.
Schools will progress from Universal to Enhanced and then to Model schools over time, either through WCED roll-out or own/donor funding.
Internal trunking was completed, and also the fibre cable was ‘blown’ (term used by the trunking foreman) and Thursday 24th November they came to terminate the fibre cable.
I think the next step is to connect the router and do the ISP settings, and we’ll finally be rid of the problematic Neotel Wireless connection. All education connections go through the SITA proxy, so though we might have fast Internet, it will be heavily censored by this body. Looking forward to bypassing it, though. SITA is the South African State Information Technology Agency that provides IT ( Information Technology), IS (Information Systems) and related services to government departments.