Growing up in 4IR: Why access to digital tools is important for students

In a world where cars drive people, machines are intelligent and inanimate objects talk to one another, it’s never been more important for schools and their students to have access to digital resources.

Although self-driving cars and artificial intelligence isn’t yet common in South Africa, there’s no denying that the revolution is already upon us – making it more essential than ever that the youth is not left behind.

Young students today are growing up in the middle of a technological evolution which will ultimately change the types of jobs available for them in the future and the skills required to perform these jobs. A digital education in school can play a critical role in a students’ career development.

However, in many communities in the country, there are still schools like Fisantekraal High School where some students have never even touched a computer before.

Fisantekraal is a small settlement 10 kilometres outside of Durbanville in the Western Cape, and although challenged with many difficulties, its high school has managed to deliver quality education and produce excellent academic results.

The SAME Foundation observed that in order for the school to sustain and improve on this, it needed to incorporate technological resources into daily teaching and learning habits.

XLink partnered with the non-profit in its efforts to improve infrastructure and facilities at the school through the newly built digital resource centre, handed over to the school on 15 July 2019.

Fisantekraal High’s principal, Leopold De Vries, understands the need for digital resources more than anyone, noting that the resource centre meant a lot to both the school and the Fisantekraal community at large.

He points out that many of the students don’t have any access to the internet, making it difficult to do research for a task or school project. The centre will now provide them with beneficial conditions to further their education while also exposing them to the wider global community and an array of opportunities they will now be made aware of. The teachers will gain a substantial benefit from the introduction of this resource centre as they can ensure that they are educating based on the latest trends and material available.

At XLink we value education and the benefits it carries into society for the future of our country. This resource centre is intended to grow and support students’ ability to learn, by providing access to worldwide information through a digital platform so that they are able to empower themselves in an increasingly digital world.

Students in communities like Fisantekraal don’t really hear terms like the Fourth Industrial Revolution, let alone understand what it could mean for them, but with the right digital resources they will have the building blocks they need to ride the wave into the future instead of being pushed back to the shore.

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