Bus transformed into mobile classroom for learners in Langa

The 42-seater Atlas Digibus has laptops, two teaching stations, and Wi-Fi for online teaching programmes like coding

By Mary-Anne Gontsana

15 October 2021

Learners from different primary schools in Langa will have an opportunity once a week to participate in online learner programmes on this 42-seater bus launched by the VUSA Academy Programme on Wednesday. Photo: Mary-Anne Gontsana

Learners from five primary schools in the township of Langa, Cape Town, will now benefit from a bus transformed into a fully equipped mobile classroom.

The 42-seater Atlas Digibus is kitted out with laptops, two teaching stations, and Wi-Fi for learners to participate in online teaching programmes like coding.

After successfully launching its tuk-tuk mobile library in April, the VUSA Academy Programme hopes the bus will reach and assist more children in the community.

While assisting learners navigate the facilities on the bus, coach and mentor at VUSA Masimdumise January said, “The mobile classroom is something we never imagined. It brings excitement and curiosity, especially for the kids. This will enhance their English and Math skills.”

VUSA Academy founder and director Brendan Fogarty said that the bus would visit each of the five schools for a full day between Monday and Friday during the school year.

“[In school] children are taught in IsiXhosa until the end of Grade 3. They then transition into English teaching and that’s often where the problems start with the terminology and vocabulary. We want to do an extensive intervention with the languages, so that the kids actually start to understand more in English,” he said.

Forgarty said their dream is to eventually have a VUSA network across South Africa.

The Atlas Digibus was donated to the academy by the Atlas Foundation. The mobile classroom project will employ up to five new staff including a qualified teacher as well as offer learners access to academic support, using the expertise and materials from private school Bishops Diocesan College. Coronation Fund Managers has come on board alongside Bishops to partially fund this online literacy programme.