Witnessing the ‘Power of TV’ Firsthand

Dancers at Xolani Primary SchoolOne of the privileges that I have working for Discovery Communications is supporting the Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership (DCGEP) team. Every day they are working to use the transformative power of television to inspire and engage students in underserved communities around the world — currently in 16 countries reaching over 13,000 teachers, 830,000 students and 2.5 million community members. (Learn more about DCGEP by listening to this Live a Damn interview with President Aric Noboa.)

Earlier this month, I had a chance while on vacation to visit one of DCGEP’s Learning Centers in South Africa at the Xolani Primary School in the Guguletu Township outside Cape Town… and what a treat it was. After being welcomed by a group of Xolani students through dance, I was challenged to a dance-off (and I can confidently say that the girls had me beat).

The enthusiasm of the welcome did not diminish as I joined the students in their classroom — first for a math lesson and then for a technology class focusing on bridges. As a part of the DCGEP Learning Center initiative, participating schools receive equipment, three years of extensive teacher training in the use of television as an educational tool, and programming created in collaboration with local educators.

In addition to learning a thing or two about architecture that I didn’t know, I also was able to see firsthand how video can add depth and color to the classroom experience. Not to mention the fact that the library of videos created from Discovery’s 25 years of content is also used to educate the greater community.

Many thanks to Mashala Kwape and Lulu Sonqishe for such a memorable and meaningful end to my time in South Africa. To learn more about Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership, please visit thepoweroftv.org!