Knowledge Network will be trading in Australia under the trademark KnowNet.
Release date June 2002
Published in:
Extracts published in Info Update, Volume 92, June 2002






Government 2005 Curriculum - Q & A regarding multi-lingual and multicultural learning
Question How has the Knowledge Network programme worked in your school?
Vincent Pienaar, Principal of Laerskool Paul Greyling, Cape Town

(see below for the answer to another question)

The programme was introduced two years ago. Since then the learners' computer literacy improved tremendously. All tasks assigned to students are now done on the computer. The quality of the children's work improved, they also use their breaks and come after hours to work on the computers.
Question Has the programme been helpful in a multi-cultural and multilingual teaching environment?
Tubby van Dyk from Midrand Primary School in Midrand, Gauteng The learner's computer literacy enabled them to use the computers without fear. They applied the achieved skills in completing the assignments with confidence. The in-service training offered by Knowledge Network to the educators also helped them to stay intact with the new curriculum.

Within the multi-cultural and multilingual environment the cross-curriculum learning programme assisted excellently in achieving the outcomes.

Question Is the Knowledge Network IT Learning System usable with the 2005 Curriculum
Marion Joseph from the St Mary's Outreach Programme, Gauteng The system is certainly compatible with the 2005 curriculum and offers ideal opportunities for integration and the implementation of OBE principles.
Question How does the Knowledge Network IT Learning System Progressive Learning Programme fit in with a multilingual, multi-cultural learning environment?
Chris Townsin, Grey High School, Port Elizabeth The Grey Schools are situated in Port Elizabeth, South Africa and were established in 1856. Both the Junior and High School are situated on a single campus. Hostel facilities are provided for out of town pupils and the total enrolment for both schools is approximately 1500. Grey has built up a reputation as being one of the leading public schools in South Africa and has achieved highly impressive results in academic, cultural and sporting activities on a consistent basis. The facilities and quality of teaching are one of the highest standard and deeply entrenched sense of tradition prevails throughout the two schools.

Grey High School has a multicultural environment, however, we do not keep statistics regarding race etc. Many of our pupils have different languages as their home language, eg English, Afrikaans, Xhosa, French etc, although the language of instruction at Grey is English.

The Progressive Learning Programme in Grades 8 and 9 has worked exceptionally well this year, our 1st year of implementation. We are so pleased with the program that we have implemented it in our Outreach Programme, which will expand on a continual basis.

The Grade 8's have responded positively to the different sessions, and have recently completed their Level 1 exam. A most pleasing start to the programme. The Grade 8's can only improve as they have started from the beginning. I only hope that they are mature enough to understand the concepts in Level 2, and in Level 3 & 4 in Grade 9.

The Grade 9's initially struggled to get to grips with the system, as it is a completely different method of instruction.

The results in Grade 9, have just completed their Level 02 exam, were not as good as I expected. This low result can possibly be attributed to:

  1. not reading the instructions properly
  2. not preparing adequately enough and taking it seriously
  3. not knowing what to expect in the exam structure

I believe that this will improve at the year goes on. The pupils will have the opportunity to sit the exam again, together with Level 03.

The session training events which occur every quarter assist the mentors immensely, especially those who have no prior knowledge of computers. Feedback and support to us at Grey is good, irrespective of the distance. We obviously don't benefit from a one-on-one scenario as much as the Gauteng schools do, but the distance does not detract from the relationship that we share. We are very pleased with the level of support and enthusiasm that is demonstrated from the staff at Knowledge Network.

Dawn Schultz, Unicorn Preparatory School, Tzaneen Unicorn Preparatory School is an English medium independent school. We have got 328 pupils from Grade R to Grade 7. Our pupils represent different cultures including English, Afrikaans, Sotho, Shangaan, Indian and Coloured children. They speak different languages at home but our medium of instruction is English only.

We haven't experienced any problems implementing the Knowledge Network programme and have found them most suitable for our pupils, despite their linguistic and cultural differences. The fact that all pupils were not on the same level of computer literacy made little difference in the outcomes that we were able to achieve. We actually found that the pupils who had less exposure, were more creative in the beginning and the pupils who thought they knew everything about computers, were less creative at first.

The programme assists us in many learning areas of the new curriculum. The fact that the pupils are challenged to think more creatively in the computer room, has encouraged them to be more critical and creative in their thought processes in other subjects.

Having computers in all our classes, allow the pupils to make use of their computer skills in all their learning areas. They have the opportunity to implement their skills in many ways. We even got to the point where we had to train all our members of staff to keep up with the pupils.

The session training events are most important to our staff who teach computers. During these events all possible problems for the next term's work can be sorted out. We, at our school are most fortunate to have 7 staff members who are trained to teach computers. We assist one another when the need arises to solve problems. The fact that support from Knowledge Network is just a call away, is rather reassuring too. We have found that the fact that we are so far away from Knowledge Network has had no negative influence on any of the staff members.

Vincent Pienaar, Principal of Laerskool Paul Greyling, Cape Town Profile of the school
  • Predominant Afrikaans speaking households.
  • The language of instruction is Afrikaans.
  • We have a wide range of computer literacy. From very well literate to illiterate.
  • It seems as if the above mentioned is connected to the income of the parent.
  • Not such a big difference in culture.

The program was introduced 2 years ago. It has been introduced from the age of 5 years to the age of 13 (Gr R - Gr 7)

  • Since that time the computer literacy improved tremendously.
  • All tasks assigned to the students are now done on the computer.
  • The quality of the children's work improved.
  • They use their breaks and come after hours to work on the computer.
  • The computer classes work to a curriculum based on the Office package.
  • All lesson plans are given to the teacher.

Most of the outcomes based subjects require a lot of project work and tasks. Since the introduction of the Knowledge Network package to the school the students' quality of work and neatness of the projects improved. The package allows you to introduce tasks from all other subjects into the computer classes.

We had a bit of problems around the language, but we understand that the computer language is English and we had to cope with that. We are fortunate that we live in an English community. So that was in our advantage.

It definitely enhances the curriculum and is that vital support for the teacher. They use the Encarta and Internet a lot to extract information. Without the introduction of the Knowledge Network system it would be impossible for some kids to use the electronic media.

You can use the programme in all subject areas. It fits in well.

As we are in Cape Town and the head office is in another province it did worry us in the beginning how they are going to cope with the distance. We were quite surprised by the way that they helped and supported us.

They flew down for the training sessions 7 x a year. They were only a telephone call away.

I strongly recommend the System to any school. It is practical and it works. You will see your students improve.





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Date of update: 18 February 2009