SUSTAINABLE EDUCATION FOR DEVELOPMENT IN SOUTH AFRICA
Jp-ik is one of the worlds’ leaders in ICT education, opened its doors in South Africa in 2015. As its principal offering Jp-ik has developed an educational ecosystem which ranges from manufacturing Education Reference Devices to various unique applications like classroom management software which is essential for both pupil and teacher development. The company not only sells devices (technology) but also specialises in both implementation and training of teachers (pedagogy), enabling them to teach effectively and efficiently
In 2015 as part of its contribution to Education for Sustainable Development, Jp-ik donated three classrooms in the Western Cape. The aim was to show the Western Cape Education Department(WCED) the effectiveness of our solution. The Province welcomed the donation as a much-needed development in the education sector and the classrooms are a reference point for the future of education in South Africa.
Having been in South Africa for the past three years, Jp-ik has faced numerous obstacles, from the lack of understanding of what Education for a Sustainable Development means to structural and systematic problems in the way education is implemented, limited access to resources in the education department, lack of commitment from the leaders and the right attitude. While all this can be dealt with and changed, the major problem has been that there is lack of good education policies. The government does not have a clear roadmap on where education is going. The tender process is oversubscribed and does not adhere for ESD requirements.
ESD is enabling every human being to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values necessary to shape a sustainable future. It includes key sustainable development issues into teaching and learning for example climate change, disaster risk reduction and sustainable consumption. ESD engages in participatory teaching and learning methods that motivate and empower learners to change their behaviour and take action for sustainable development.
ESD requires far reaching changes in the way education is practised in South Africa where we are more than twenty years behind. ESD promotes competencies like critical thinking, imagining future scenarios and making decisions in a collaborative way. It is about the learning needed to maintain and improve our quality of life, and the quality of generations to come. ESD enables people to develop both the knowledge and skills to participate in decisions about the way we do things individually and collectively locally and globally that will improve the quality of life now without damaging the planet for the future.
However sustainable education takes more than just handing out a tablet or a laptop which is where our tender system is flawed, it is about the discipline that deals with the theory and practice of teaching and how these influence student learning. In education we call this Pedagogy. Pedagogy informs teacher actions, judgments, and teaching strategies by taking into consideration theories of learning, understandings of students and their needs, and the backgrounds and interests of individual students. Jp-ik champions pedagogy, it is part of its contribution to a sustainable education.