During 2015, as part of the broader education programme in Lephalale, the mine introduced ‘iPads in Education’ (known as the ‘iDeaf programme’) to 27 learners at Sedibeng School for the Deaf to enhance their learning experience.
Deaf children are accustomed to using gestures to communicate. Technology with appropriate applications that support gesture-based learning has proved to be invaluable in teaching deaf learners the art of sign language, reading and writing skills. Grootegeluk is partnering with iSchool Africa, who developed a series of applications for Apple iPad, to support learners with learning disabilities. These applications are receiving international recognition and were also rolled out at Transoranje School for the Deaf in Pretoria with great success.
The aim of the programme is to meet the following objectives:
- Support the development of reading and literacy skills, since reading with comprehension is fundamental to deaf education. The main area of focus is on Grade R to Grade 3 learners to form the foundation of good reading skills to promote better understanding and learning from Grade 4 onwards.
- Provide access to especially vocational skills to increase the employability of the older learners in future.
The iDeaf programme revolutionises the way these learners are taught and brings education to life through the use of iPads in the classroom. The learners have access to valuable information that was previously only available in printed format. The interactive technology makes the learning experience more engaging and memorable and advances the learners’ linguistic, communication, cognitive, academic, literacy and psychosocial development. Through the interactive applications learners become more motivated and independent in their learning which leads to enhanced performance in the classroom.
Exxaro is proud to pioneer this change in education and anticipates remarkable improvements in the learners’ overall education and development.