Subject specialists use IRIS Connect to deliver training over distance in South Africa

In a revolutionary project, teachers in Johannesburg will be given training and support using IRIS Connect’s video professional learning platform.

Six secondary schools in the Ekurhuleni South District of Johannesburg are piloting a new model for teacher training and development. Using our platform and video technology, the project’s aim is to establish an effective approach to supporting educators at schools who are reintroducing math at grade 10 (equivalent to GCSE in the UK). The use of IRIS Connect is enabling subject specialists to deliver scalable support over distance.

The project is funded jointly by the Newton Fund, which supports science and innovation partnerships between the UK and emerging powers, and the South African Department for Basic Education. The primary focus of the Fund’s STEM Education Programme is to help develop partner countries’ research and innovation capacity for long-term sustainable growth and welfare.

We are very proud to be collaborating with the British Council South Africa, the South African Department for Basic Education, the Teach South Africa programme and a team of STEM consultants to support the delivery of the project. The initial indications are very encouraging.

The passion for improving teaching and learning and the openness of the teachers to embrace new, effective methods for professional development supported by technology is impressive. This is a hugely exciting project that could have profound implications for how training and support is delivered over distance with the ultimate aim to improve learners’ outcomes”. Vesna Belogaska, Overseas Development Manager at IRIS Connect.

Project impact

The Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Mr Enver Surty, explained the value of the technology for training staff over huge distances:

In the South African context, where subject specialists in Maths and Science are in short supply, the IRIS Connect system allows for teacher support offered by district subject specialists. Given the shortage of subject specialists and the vast distances between the schools they support, the IRIS Connect platform can increase the scope, reach and impact of myriad forms of district support.

If the model proves to be successful it could act as a blue print for supporting change more broadly.

Read more about the project >>


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