When South African schools closed down on the 18th March 2020 in response to the unprecedented threat of Covid-19, hundreds of children around the country were left without education. While well-resourced schools have been able to provide online solutions that go some way towards preventing significant loss of learning, students in less advantaged communities have suffered more severely, primarily due to lack of internet connectivity. The government has made some attempts to redress this through the development of educational radio and television programmes but even these cannot possibly bridge the chasm that Covid-19 has created.
I don't know about you but I am overwhelmed by the proliferation of ideas for remote learning. My best advice is don't run toward a solution. The urgency is Covid 19. Think anew about education, focus on those that need the help, while all of us take 2020 to create a better system.
This is not a time for skeptics, critics and naysayers. This is a time for solutions. And those solutions could come from anywhere and anyone. While erstwhile experts scramble for answers, teachers all over the country have been quietly finding ways to continue their teaching. Ironically, during this time of isolation, this is also when we need collaboration more than ever before.
We are blessed to live in an age that allows us to remain connected to different extents and it is this connection that also allows us to share our experiences and our knowledge with one another as we all collaborate in our ongoing effort to educate the young people of this country. Whether you are a principal, teacher, parent or learner, you all have something to teach and something to learn. This portal provides links to a range of writings and resources that might be helpful to those looking for educational support.
Information on Covid-19 and other general health resources
It is crucial to stay informed about this virus. It would not be an understatement to say that ignorance can be fatal. It is tempting, when facing something this traumatic, to go into a state of denial or avoidance but this will not only harm you, but those around you. Stay informed.
South Africa's online resource and news portal: https://sacoronavirus.co.za/
IASC interim guidance for Covid-19 prevention and control in schools - Click to view
A letter to all school leadership and staff as we prepare to reopen schools (26 May 2020) - Click to view
CMSA Guidance Document: Reducing transmission of COVID-19 in the school environment (30 April 2020) - Click to view
What are we learning about distance learning? A collection of short readings for schools (Compiled by Mark Potterton, August 2020) - Click to view