Geo-Information Society of South Africa (GISSA) was approached by teachers
over the last few years to assist them with their understanding of GIS.
As a result, Education Portfolios were established on the national
GISSA council and the provincial bodies, and GIS Week was initiated. As
the school year in South Africa ends in December, it was decided to
have a week long event in May rather than in November. GIS became part
of the Grade 10 curriculum this year, and will become examined as part
of the geography curriculum in 2008.
Activities are taking place in some of the provinces, and media
coverage has been secured at regional and national levels including a
national TV education program. Provincial events range from a four day
GIS fair in Cape Town, to participating in Science and Technology Week
functions, and 'adopt a school' initiatives around the country. To
promote a general awareness of GIS, businesses are encouraged to
demonstrate Google Earth and
GPS technology to their staff.
GISSA has set up an education page on its website where teachers can
access information about GIS and register free of charge to receive
relevant industry and education news. The site provides links to sites
of interest including the South African GIS industry journal PositionIT.
This is in line with a greater awareness of GIS in general, as many GIS
practitioners are in the process of registering with a professional
body and the accreditation of GIS courses at tertiary institutions is
about to take place.