Thutong National Education Portal

IIn early 2003, the national Department of Education released a tender to build a national education portal (www.thutong.doe.gov.za). NBA as part of a consortium of partners won the bid to develop this portal. Since then, NBA has been the key driver of the consortium and responsible for a variety of activities, including hosting, maintenance and development of new technical functions as required by the national Department. Through the Thutong portal, the education department has aimed to lead the drive to improve learning in the country through appropriate use of technology. Thutong’s key focus has been on creating strong and vibrant online communities of practice in order to facilitate discussion and sharing of information and ideas among peer networks, and in an effort to encourage South African educators to develop and improve education by sharing the country’s common intellectual capital. The development and maintenance of the national education portal has been a challenging and complex undertaking. It has straddled a wide range of aspects of the education system, and demanded simultaneous management and integration of many different information requirements. This has also required ongoing engagement with several players – many with competing interests. We hope that the work we have done has made a positive contribution to improving the quality and impact of education delivery in South Africa.