So what have we done in the first 6+ months…
OCTOBER 2018 – Teacher Launch and Training session
At the beginning of October 2018 we kicked off the CLN Pilot program with an event in Bloemfontein where we invited all the teachers from the first five participating schools, to introduce the CLN project and the Omang devices and give them some training on how to use them and the value they can add in the classroom and to the learners and teachers at home via communication and study options.
OCTOBER 2018 – First launch of Omang Devices
Shortly after the Teacher event, the CLN handed out the very first Omang devices to grade 10 learners and teachers at 3 schools in the Free state province, namely Vulamasango in Bloemfontein, Phehellang n Parys and Olien in Fauriesmith. About 450 devices were distributed to learners and teachers in total.
OCTOBER 2018 – Software was hacked
The distributed devices were pre-loaded with software that disables all functionality on the device besides the intended content and platform. Just days after the devices were handed over, a handful of learners managed to hack the software.
Because the platform is able to monitor usage on individual devices, we were able to quickly identify which devices were hacked first and talk to the specific learners involved. We could therefore understand the flaws in the software and update it to ensure this would not recur.
Between October 2018 and January 2019, every distributed device was re-loaded with the updated software.
JANUARY 2019 – Second round of device distribution
In January 2019, we assessed the number of learners who moved from grade 10 to grade 11 in each school and due to a significant failure rate, we made a decision to distribute additional devices to any new grade 11 learners as well as the balance of new grade 10 learners, to avoid having parts of each grade with and without devices and to make in classroom use of devices feasible for the teachers. This brought our total devices deployed up to about 660.
FEBRUARY 2019 – Jendamark came on board
In February 2019, Jendamark Automation Pty Ltd came on board as a major shareholder in the CLN. They believe in our vision to impact young South Africans through education. They were looking for a program to support to improve education in South Africa as a whole and believe the CLN can accomplish that. This changed our ownership profile such that the CLN is now >51% black owned as classified under B-BBEE.
MARCH 2019 – CLN Showcase Event
In March 2019, we hosted a gala dinner with the aim of showing leaders in corporate South Africa what the CLN is all about and how they can get involved for the benefit of the learners that will be impacted as well as their businesses. This included a panel discussion with distinguished speakers – MD Ramesh (President OLAM International), Quinton Uren (CNBC All Africa Industrialist of the year), David Mphelo (GM MTN) and Ajit Gopalakrishnan (Founding partner CLN). The event was well attended, with very positive feedback coming from attendees.
MARCH 2019 – OFM signs on as an official Media Partner
In March 2019, the CLN was very excited to sign OFM as an official media partner for the Free State province. They are one of the biggest radio stations in the region and have great reach and influence in the community. They will be covering events and endorsing, supporting, promoting the CLN
APRIL 2019 – QwaQwa Government Outreach with President Ramaphosa
In April 2019, the CLN was part of a government outreach program in the Free State attended by President Ramaphosa, Premier Sisi Ntombela and HOD Adv Malakoane. They addressed 10,000 learners, publicly endorsed the CLN initiative and handed out our Omang devices to a representative number of learners as the first roll out of the President’s promise of tablets for all learners over the next 5 years.
APRIL 2019 – Deployment of Devices to Thahameso
Following the QwaQwa event, a fourth school was brought onto the network. Omang devices were deployed to Thahameso Secondary school. This was sponsored through support from the office of the Premier of the Free State, adding an additional 135 devices to the network.
APRIL 2019 – Standard Bank Free State comes on Board
Standard Bank Free State has signed a contract with the CLN to sponsor a school with Omang devices. This is the first corporate sponsorship of a whole school and another big milestone for the CLN. About 250 Omang devices will be deployed to Mohaladitwe Secondary School in May 2019.
MAY 2019 – Deputy President hands out Omang Devices at Tiisetsang School
Following the Qwaqwa rally in the Free State, deputy president, David Mabuza, handed out several Omang devices at Tiisetsang as a symbol and promise of what’s to come. The premier has committed to sponsorship and full roll-out for the grade 10 learners over the next couple of months.