Let's narrow SA's education gap

Big IssueIssue 286

Let's narrow SA's education gap
Learners are facing huge educational losses due to disruptions from COVID-19. Novus Print Executive Steve Thobela discusses how paper-based learning can help learners get back on their feet.
Steve Thobela

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on our economy, small and large businesses alike, and individual home-life. Tragically, learners will not escape unscathed as disruptions to normal school life take hold.

These disruptions come in the form of lost teaching days, a lack of social interaction and extra-curricular based learning, with learners, parents and schools having to adapt to new, alternative methods of learning that are not classroom-based.

Learners also possibly face a high failure rate at the end of the 2020 academic year. There can be no doubt that this will have far-reaching consequences on our learners.

Research published by The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) shows that while everybody will experience learning losses, the educational outcomes for the poor will be worse. This is because e-learning, which many have adopted in response to the need for social distancing, has worsened the education gap for low-income households.

Wealthier households have access to more resources, such as internet connectivity and online-learning tools. This is in stark contrast to poorer households where many children do not have digital devices, stable connectivity, nor access to online-based learning resources, and lack basic services like electricity and sanitation.

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Issue 286