Information technology (IT) is important in two areas of the business, namely the educating of learners and the administration of the network of schools.
IT as part of the education process is becoming more topical. There are IT labs at all Curro schools, where appropriate IT lessons are taught to most of the learners. IT labs are equipped with Sun Oracle terminal systems, which are more cost-effective to maintain over the medium to long term, easier to integrate with the Curro network and are energy saving.
Curro is in the process of piloting the use of laptops and tablet devices that should form part of the education process in future. During 2012, Curro conducted research that resulted in the first round of tablets being rolled out at five schools in 2013. Learners receive their learning support material as e-books on tablets and will be in touch with their educators via C-space, a tool that was developed within Curro.
In terms of IT as administrative support, Curro invests capital and effort to ensure that appropriate systems are in place to monitor the schools effectively. The aim is to increase automation of processes to ensure that educators can spend more of their time teaching and that the number of administrative personnel is kept to a minimum.
The reliability of Curro’s IT system is challenged because of the lack of fixed-line telecommunication infrastructures at the urban edges where Curro generally develops new schools. Microwave technology helped Curro to stabilise the internet in these remote areas. Curro is continuously working on finding cost-effective, reliable wireless alternatives.