Programme unlocks new learning tools

Seven Steps Academy for the Deaf staff and pupils with members of Friends of the District Six.

New learning opportunities have been unlocked for pupils at the Seven Steps Academy for the Deaf in Zonnebloem.

An online-education company launched its basic computer training with a demonstration at the school on Friday July 28. The company is working with the school and the Friends of the District Six and is sponsoring training for Grades 4 to 6 pupils once a week, from Monday to Thursday.

Seven Steps Academy for the Deaf acting deputy principal and teacher Marina Paioni said the programme had created a buzz around the school with pupils eager to learn.

She said they hoped to extend the programme to more grades with time, but were thankful for the sponsorship that the Friends had helped to secure.

“Most of our children come from economically challenged families, and many do not have access to computers. In high school, they will need to be proficient in computers so now we are giving them the tools. Our pupils rely heavily on visuals, and now we can incorporate technology with learning,” she said.

The company’s CEO and founder, Russell Pengelly, said the programme the pupils would be using ranged from preschool to adult level and used a “merged approach to learning”.

Denise Atkins, from Friends of District Six, said: “The children are very excited, and we are excited for them. This will help empower pupils and bring them in line with the necessary skills they need for the future.”

Seven Steps for the Deaf Academy pupils Zack Smith, left, and Sibahle Mbothisa.
Priscilla Naidoo, from Friends of District Six, with Seven Steps Academy for the Deaf principal Lee Aan Kannemeyer.