Thanks to the MiDO Foundation and Remgro Limited, teachers at Idas Valley Primary (IVP) in Stellenbosch have been equipped with a range of digital skills to function in a world where, overnight, these skills have become crucial to teaching.

The Corporate Social Investment Department at Remgro Limited and the MiDO Foundation have collaborated over the last five years through the Remgro Schools Project to teach teachers from under-resourced schools in Stellenbosch how to use technology in the classroom and for administrative tasks. Thus far, teachers at 10 schools in Stellenbosch have undergone the training.

As part of the partnership, the MiDO Foundation is responsible for providing Google Level 1 training for schools that form part of the Remgro Schools Project. The Level 1 training focuses on learning how to use Google Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Sheets, and Slides effectively. The teachers also underwent mobile device training, which focuses on how to use WhatsApp safely to broadcast information and learning materials to learners during lockdown and school closures and has proved very useful in helping teachers continue with some teaching and learning in spite of social distancing. In addition, teachers were also taught how to develop a website for their school using Google Sites and were provided with training to continue managing the site after the MiDO Foundation exited.

According to Deputy Principal Anton Gordon at IVP, teachers were “really impressed with the training they received from MiDO”.

Gordon has been teaching for almost 33 years, of which 28 years has been spent at IVP.

“Most of our teachers are computer literate, meaning that they can use computers, but MiDO taught us how to Google properly and how to conduct meetings online, because nowadays we can’t ask all the teachers to gather in one room, we need to do it online.”

The school has a computer laboratory with 45 computers that are being used by Grades 1 to 6 learners.

“Because our school benefited from this type of training, we can carry those skills over to our children and our community. Our community seems to miss out on learning these types of skills and it is therefore very difficult for them to work online. So, what our school did this year, was to  open up our computer laboratory for any person who has children at Idas Valley Primary and does not have wifi or a computer to come to the school and use our resources. And we were able to help them apply online for their children to go to high school for example. So we have shared with them the knowledge we have learnt from MiDO,” says Gordon.

Teachers were also taught how to build a website for the school using Google Sites and how to maintain the website after the MiDO Foundation exited.

“Most of the school teachers at our school are young and under 30 years, so in future they will be apply this knowledge when teaching the younger generation.”

Gordon has also been impressed by the interns from the Youth Employment Services (YES) programme who are completing a 12-month paid internship at the MiDO Foundation and has been working as a teachers’ assistants helping with administrative and ad hoc tasks at the school amongst others.

“I would recommend MiDO’s training to any school, person or institution. They are doing monumental work. And, I believe the training offered by MiDO is the way forward, because everything in the world is about technology now.”

“I am also grateful to Remgro for making this training possible and want to plead to them to keep up the good work by supporting more schools.”

Added Nadine Farao, Sales and Marketing Manager at MiDO Technologies: “The foundation would like to extend the training that we’ve offered to Idas Valley Primary School by establishing a digital hub at the school, where teachers will not only be able to apply and improve their digital skills, but also become more confident in integrating technology in the classroom. The hub will also provide learners with an opportunity to become digitally skilled and use the resources available to them online to search for and access opportunities.”