Change the world


‘Digital spaces using ICT-enabling learning’ is a teaching and research project managed by Prof Andre du Plessis of the Faculty of Education, that seeks to explore the aspirations of eight rural South African secondary school youths via the usage of ICT in context.


In collaboration with Prof Naydene de Lange and MEd student, Leila Ahmed, the project explores the perceived challenges faced by the participants relating to pursuing their aspirations in rural areas, and whether a visual methodology approach might enable agency.

Prof du Plessis explains that, “Huge disparities still exist among urban and rural schools. Learners from rural communities have aspirations, but face many challenges as a result of their context. There appears to be a paucity of information regarding rural school youth’s aspirations within the Eastern Cape…”.

The project utilises visual methodology, specifically Photo Voice as a tool to create data. Du Plessis adds that, “The focus is also on enabling these rural youths ICT-wise to show to their teachers, learners and community that this approach has the potential to enable agency.” Students are required to use PowerPoint and engage with other technologies as part of the process of enabling agency.

Prof du Plessis indicated that, “the past political and educational systems have discriminated against rural youth. These learners have been side-lined as a result of the apartheid discriminatory policies of the past. This project is an attempt to address the dehumanisation of these learners due to these discriminatory policies and actions, as well as providing the participating youth with a voice to make their aspirations, challenges, ideas and actions tangible by means of presentations to their teachers, learners and community.”