The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) has launched the Letsibogo Girls Maths, Science and ICT School of Specialization (SoS), focusing on Media and Communication in Meadowlands, Soweto.
The girls-only school is the provincial government’s 23rd SoS targeting learners from underprivileged backgrounds from the township and nearby hostels.
Officially opening the school on Tuesday, Education MEC Matome Chiloane emphasised the significance of communication and media studies.
“Learners must become acquainted with the pros and cons of the media and communication.
“They need exposure to the media and communication arena to become the next generation of reporters, journalists, and presenters. The grooming starts here and now,” said Chiloane.
The MEC highlighted that while the department is teaching and preparing children for an unknown, the multi-certification programmes will broaden learners’ thinking and equips them with skills beyond the syllabus.
“How we live, work, and interact with each other continues to evolve in ways that require an audience aware of both opportunities and risks associated with the digital revolution,” he added.
The school will expose learners to media and communication beyond social media platform usage.
Learners will be equipped with skills in artificial intelligence applications, robotics, data analytics, graphic design, and quantum computing, which are essential in the digital transformation era.
According to Jessica Tandy from Bizmod Consulting, while technology has transformed people’s lives, it cannot replicate human connection, emotional intelligence, and effective communication.
“These technical skills are undeniably crucial in today’s landscape; however, it is equally important to recognise the significance of social skills, the human touch that differentiates us,” said Tandy.
“These skills set you apart and give you a competitive advantage in any field. Therefore, embrace the multi-disciplinary certification offered in the schools as it is the intersection of STEM and media communication where true innovation lies.”
Tandy urged learners to use their skills to inspire, inform, and uplift others while embracing ethical journalism and communication principles.
Furthermore, she encouraged learners to think beyond code and equations, considering how their innovations can touch lives, solve societal challenges, and make a positive difference.
A learner at the school, Nosipho Malebe, expressed her gratitude for the opportunities provided by the school.
“The school has given us an opportunity to follow our dreams and do the things we have been dreaming of doing,” she said.
“The change in our school will inspire other girls because we now have our own radio and TV. This is an excellent opportunity to start practising as I’ve always wanted to be a presenter. It may be time for our government to include media and communication in our curriculum.