Launch of iSchoolAfrica World Cup Youth Press Teams

Published: June 09, 2010  Author: Miliswa Sitshwele

The BEDU team, pictured with students from Ratheo Intermediate School, at the launch of iSchoolAfrica World Cup Youth Press Teams The BEDU team, pictured with students from Ratheo Intermediate School, at the launch of iSchoolAfrica World Cup Youth Press Teams

Vuvuzelas, ululations, songs and dancing were the order of the evening as iSchoolAfrica, in collaboration with FIFA, Core Group and various other organisations, launched the iSchoolAfrica World Cup Youth Press Teams at the Apple iStore in Sandton recently.

The aim of the initiative is to equip learners with the necessary skills that allow them to record the 2010 FIFA World Cup ™ and broadcast it to the world from their own perspective.

It’s about giving young people the tools that allow them to be included in a global event, as well as the skills to create broadcast content.

Armed with MacBooks, cameras and iLife software, learners from 15 schools in four of South Africa’s provinces grabbed the opportunity to tell the story of the World Cup, interviewing people from all walks of life.

The initiative reached youngsters far and wide, including some living in the Bakubung community in the North West. With the help of the Bakubung Economic Development Unit (BEDU), students from Ratheo Intermediate School in Ledig joined the press team.

Ratheo students prepare for the launch Ratheo students prepare for the launch

Speaking about her experience, Grade 9 learner Cornelia Monyane said she couldn’t begin to describe her happiness.

“The experience has changed my life a lot. I want to further my studies and become a journalist one day. I would like to thank BEDU for giving me the opportunity to tell my story.”

Monyane said that when the programme first came about she couldn’t even use a computer, let alone a camera. Now, she and her team can write, record, edit and present their clips about Ledig, a fact that makes her “super proud”.

She thanked BEDU for the opportunity to tell the world about her culture.

In her speech at last night’s event, project coordinator Michelle Lissoos quoted one of the learners in the programme, who said, “The 2010 FIFA World Cup™, is a big street party and the whole world is invited”.

“We are inviting you to be part of this street party and take this journey with us as we document the World Cup through these learners’ eyes,” she said. “iSchoolAfrica is about empowering the youth and giving them an experience that is fun, lasting, meaningful and unforgettable.”

“The learners loved the World Cup initiative and have come up with great ideas,” she added.

Speaking about the project, Core Group’s managing director, Rodney Ichikowitz, said they were privileged to be part of the programme, working with both private and public schools to bring the same level of education to all children in South Africa.

“Our mission is to give all children in South Africa the same education tools and recognise the challenges that students go through.

“The key part of this methodology is to overcome challenges such as funding, infrastructure and so forth and through the iSchoolAfrica project that’s what we aim to do,” he said.

Young reporters got the opportunity to hone their skills at the launch Young reporters got the opportunity to hone their skills at the launch

Rodney showed the audience clips of students’ interviews with celebrities including Sophie Ndaba from Generations, as well as with the creator of the vuvuzela and a man who owns a soccer hat that weighs 35kgs. Guests were even treated to a clip about how to “pimp” your grandmother for the World Cup.

With regard to the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ Rodney said that sport plays a fantastic role in unifying people all over the world.

“Sport is great at nation builder and combining the iSchoolAfrica project with the World Cup was great; we are amazed by the type of content we have.”

FIFA project manager, Louis Taylor, said it was refreshing to see the press teams in action.

“It is important that children are provided with tools to strengthen themselves, so that they know what they are capable of doing.”

Representatives from each press team were then given the chance to share their experiences with the audience.

A Crawford College learner explained that the project had given him the opportunity to work in a team and be a flag bearer for one of the greatest events in the world.

Another learner from Tumisang Secondary School told guests how she had benefited, explaining that she had learnt how to type, write and produce a television clip.

She went on to say that the experience had given her a chance to discover her talents and showcase her country.