Project PumaScope


I am the director of a community-based learning project - Project PumaScope - at the Department of Computer Science (DoCS). Project PumaScope aims to facilitate knowledge transfer of basic computer skills to selected rural school teachers and pupils.

Launched in 2003, the project has achieved great success and the objectives of the project have been met every year. In 2003 and 2004 the DoCS was able to secure funds from sponsors to take this project to five schools. In 2005, the DoCS secured funding for 10 schools a 100% increase in the project! The project currently runs in close collaboration with the Mpumalanga Department of Education.

Two Computer Science students, typically in their second year, are selected per school to participate in the project. After attending a two-day training session the students start work at the rural Mpumalanga schools for a period of two weeks during the June/July university holidays. Upon arrival at the school they must first determine the level of computer knowledge of both the educators and the learners in order to determine whether the training should be of an easy, intermediate, or advanced nature. The curriculum, however, allows for flexibility in the sense that it can be adapted according to the level of knowledge displayed by the educators and learners.

In the process of deciding which additional five schools would be supported by PumaScope in 2005, the Mpumalanga Department of Education provided the DoCS with the wish list of no less than 51 schools that currently have computer facilities available, but that are unable to utilise them due to a lack of expertise among both educators and learners.

It is clear, therefore, that Project PumaScope will expand significantly in years to come. The project would also like to extend its objectives to support Maths and Science teaching at these rural schools. However, in order for the project to continue assisting and rendering a valuable community service to rural disadvantaged communities in South Africa a large amount of funding must be secured to ensure that this community-based project is sustainable and successful. Please contact me if you are interested in becoming a sponsor for this project. There is no minimum amount - we will use all we can get.   


Maintained by Hein Venter
Last updated on 2006/02/10 03:43:03 PM