Tuesday, April 9, 2013

This is the series of essays written by learners who were adressing different topics. The profile will also be included at the end of the essay.
TOPIC 2: Many people of our struggle heroes viewed the ability to read write as window to self development but also a stepping platform seeking an advancement of opportunities to fight the apartheid government through literacy education. How can technology be used for the youth of today to mobilise and encourage them read and write and a basic tool that can/should be used for the development of themselves and their communities.

 Technology is a tool that plays a very important role in improving people’s lives. Technology as defined in Britannica Encyclopaedia is the application of scientific knowledge to the practical tasks with the aim of improving human life. Using technology in education for the purpose of improving life could be a positive step. I sometimes wonder how Sol Plaatje and Steve Biko would use technology to promote social cohesion if they were still alive today!

Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje was born on the 9th of October 1876 and died 19 June 1932. He was a South African intellectual, journalist, linguist, politician, translator, and writer. As an activist and politician he spent much of his life in the struggle for the enfranchisement and liberation of African people. He was a founder member and first General Secretary of the South African Native National Congress (SANNC), which would later become the African National Congress (ANC). As a member of an SANNC deputation he would travel to England to protest the 1913 Native Land Act, and later to Canada and the United States where he met Marcus Garvey and W. E. B. Du Bois. While he grew up speaking the Tswana language, Plaatje would become a polyglot. Fluent in at least seven languages, he worked as a court interpreter during the Siege of Mafikeng, and translated works of William Shakespeare into Tswana. His talent for language would lead to a career in journalism and writing. He was editor and part-owner of Koranta ea Becoana (Bechuana Gazette) in Mafikeng, and in Kimberley Tsala ea Becoana (Bechuana Friend) and Tsala ea Batho (The Friend of the People). Plaatje was the first black South African to write a novel in English - Mhudi. Plaatje wrote the novel in 1919, but it was only published in 1930. In 1928 the Zulu writer R.R.R. Dhlomo published an English-language novel, entitled 'An African Tragedy', at the missionary Lovedale Press, in Alice. This makes Dhlomo's novel the first published black South African novel in English, even though Plaatje's 'Mhudi' had been written first. He also wrote Native Life in South Africa, which Neil Parsons describes as "one of the most remarkable books on Africa by one of the continent's most remarkable writers"; and Boer War Diary that was first published 40 years after his death. His life was therefore based on promoting social cohesion. www.sahistory.org.za/people/Solomon Plaatje

Stephen Biko (18 December 1946 – 12 September 1977) was an anti-apartheid activist in South Africa in the 1960s and 1970s. A student leader who  later founded the Black Consciousness Movement which would empower and mobilize much of the urban black population. Since his death in police custody, he has been called a martyr of the anti-apartheid movement. While living, his writings and activism attempted to empower black people, and he was famous for his slogan “black is beautiful”, which he described as meaning: “man, you are okay as you are, begin to look upon yourself as a human being”. Most youth were inspired by his ideologies in the 1976 uprisings. Like Kalushi Mahlangu he is one of the celebrated martyrs. His was to promote better life for his people, especially the black nation.  www.sahistory.org.za/people/steve biko

Leaders of the past have inspired us but the improvement of education today remain in our hands as young people to come up with strategies and tactics which will place education at a proper and rightful place. The challenging process of education today is in a demanding need for solutions on how technology might assist in the transformation or betterment of education. Technology can play a vital role in improving education system in South Africa.

In the classroom it can mobilize and encourage learners to read and write and moreover to allow them to be more active with the opportunities brought about by communication and information technology. Technology that comes with the newly invented gadgets such as cell phones, computers, iPads etc can help in the self development of individuals since young persons in our respective communities want to associate themselves with these new technological gadgets. Poverty and illiteracy will decrease as a result. The introduction of computers as a learning tool can better prepare youth for their brighter future and increase achievements in many ways. It is for this reason that I believe that computers can be a great facilitator in the process for better and quality education e.g. as learners we download complicated science experiments and watch educational programs on television presented by specialists.   

My greater interest in researching this topic made me realized that the information is interesting and make me view an approach to education in a different perspective.  The study shows that with adequate teacher preparations technology can greatly improve many aspects of the classroom and learner performance. Technology promotes independence and team work in addressing fundamental issues of education. In this way, great leaders of tomorrow can be produced with a powerful knowledge to fight the apartheid legacy of poverty, illiteracy and lack of skills that are relevant to the economic development of our country.

Technology in education can further give opportunities to both teachers and learners to learn from a broader perspective and learn other skills which will enhance their social cohesion. This is evident in the words of Malcolm X that, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today”

Technology can be a ‘force multiplier’ for educators. An old approach that the teachers are the only source of help in the classroom has come to an end, learners today can access educational websites, online tutorials and that will further assist them. Education will not stop at the end of the school day but it becomes an ongoing thing even in the public transport such as taxis and trains one can browse on the small gadgets such as phones. We have access to teachers on television after school and we download resources on the internet.

Money is always an issue in education and technology can assist greatly in that regard. Electronic forms are used instead of papers; e-mail instead of memos; visual labs; electronic textbooks and thousands of free online resources can save schools money and give learners excellent educational experiences.

Before the ink in my pen runs dry I would love to conclude by suggesting that the ability to read and write can be encouraged by the introduction of technology in the classroom. More money and thoughts should be invested in implementing technology into the education system. In this way, advanced opportunities to fight the apartheid legacy left for us will be revolutionarily transformed. The people who receive better and quality education are the people who enjoy a better life. So if we want better life for all as advocated by the African National Congress we must start seriously integrating technology into the education system. That is the only way we can start to promote social cohesion. Social cohesion starts with quality education.



I am Raudinah Balele, an 18 year-old female grade 11 learners at Eqinisweni Secondary School. I live in Ivory Park extension 2. I attended my primary school at P.S Tsosane. I live with my mother and siblings; 16 years old boy and 14 years old girl.  I am the member of Peers with Realistic Objectives, an organization which promote positive poetry, drama and dances. I was a perfect at primary and was awarded as “A Best Learner in all learning Areas” in grade 7 (2008) and the best learner in business economics grade 10 (2011) and scooped three first term academic awards this year. I was nominated by I-Source Youth Organization for home language (Xitsonga), English and Business Studies in 2012. I am the cast member of the movie called “Heartless Fools”. I play Khanyisa. I am a mentor of grade 9 learners for Mathematics, given this position by Dr Fami from Wits University. I wish to pursue my studies with Wits University after my matric. I want to be a very successful Bank manager.

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