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Education up in the clouds



With Gauteng and other provinces looking to move towards paperless classrooms, it is time to start making a more extensive use of cloud-based software in educational settings in South Africa.

That’s according to Sage Pastel MD, Steven Cohen, who says that the simplicity, security and low upfront cost of cloud software make it a good match for the classroom. “The news that Gauteng’s education department is looking to go digital is welcome,” he says. “It will help eliminate many of the costs and difficulties of getting affordable and up-to-date learning materials into school kids’ hands.

Cohen says that once schoolchildren are equipped with notebook or tablet computers as well as internet connectivity, they will have access to a world of information and services from the cloud. With IT forming such a critical part of the workplace, paperless classrooms will prepare the youth for their careers, he adds.

For example, children who are studying accounting could pay a small monthly fee to use a business accounting package via the cloud, giving them hands-on experience with a tool used in every business. Sage Pastel Accounting’s My Business Online, for example, could allow them to play around in demo companies to learn more about the principles of accounting and refine their skills.

The software is complimented with a series of eManuals which track to both CAPS and IEB curriculums, and the learner can become certified by using our online assessment system. The successful candidate is then notified immediately on completion of their assessment that they are competent and the appropriate certificate is delivered by email and secure PDF. Very little manual intervention is required and the whole process becomes seamless as well as paperless.

Such software is easy to use, and is a great way to get a practical understanding of the theory taught in accounting classrooms, says Cohen. This can help prepare children for their exams and even for university courses for those who are interested in a career in accounting.

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