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Mindsets Barrier To E-Thuto Buy-In, ICT Adaptation

Students logging into the e-thuto programme PIC: LESEDI MKHUTSHWA
FRANCISTOWN: Regional director operations of education (North East), Labane Mokgosi says the main challenge identified for e-Thuto is that of changing people’s mindsets on adapting to Information, Communication and Technology (ICT).

e-Thuto project is an interactive web-based system, which is the recipient of the prestigious 2020 United Nations Public service Awards (UNPSA) in the category of promoting digital transformation in the public sector.

When addressing members of the fourth estate recently at Ntshe House, Mokgosi said there is a problem in terms of now making people own e-Thuto services, rolling it out and having it that the affected stakeholders buy-in and make use of it.
Mokgosi said he advised management to combine e-learning with mindset change management for stakeholders to be able to adapt to ICT.

“Even though e-Thuto is a great initiative, we are going to have 20% of the staff using the website and the other staffers not using it, and that means we are not winning,” he said.

Mokgosi pointed out they do not blame staff, but they should probably package an appropriate change management plan for e-learning content provision.

He added that from his observations last year when they were actually scaling e-Thuto, which has been there for five years, the buy-in was very slow.

Mokgosi said as part of their intervention they   will continue to encourage people to get used to ICT in order for them to participate in e-Thuto.

He was so far happy with the performance of e-Thuto, as the system is very effective, efficient and can be easily accessible.

Mokgosi said last year through the help of e-Thuto he managed to access data including examination marks from the schools, as they were processed in the system.

“We started using e-Thuto last year third term and I was able to see

the performance of both the teachers and students. For the first time I didn’t have to wait for the results because normally I would wait for them to be compiled and receive them in January,” he added.

Mokgosi also mentioned that at the moment e-Thuto is available for secondary and primary schools in the North East region only and they want to perfect it before rolling it out to the rest of the country before the end of the year.

He also said for now they have not collaborated with external stakeholders for content provision or network accessibility.

The e-Thuto project coordinator and principal education officer (PEOII) under North East region, Tiyapo Salani said it was in the public domain that computers are not enough in schools and students have limited time to access e-Thuto services through the available computers.

He said over 8,740 students have been captured and have access to the e-learning system.

Mokgosi added they have about 1,834 education staffers in the region accessing the system.

He added the system is hosted in the Government Data Network (GDN) and only accessible to 21 secondary schools in the region.

The PEO II added that they were working with the Department of Information Technology (DIT) to migrate the system to a public domain, so that their primary schools can benefit from the system as well.

According to Salani since the inception of e-Thuto they have managed to train close to 500 teachers, but only focusing on the five piloting subjects.

He said so far e-Thuto piloting subjects include Science, Mathematics, Agriculture, Social Studies and English.




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