Most governments around the world have temporarily closed educational institutions in an attempt to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. These nationwide closures are impacting over 91% of the world’s student population. Several other countries have implemented localized closures impacting millions of additional learners. Some schools have introduced online learning interventions to assist learners. Parents have been concerned about how they will cope with assisting the children with school work.
In South Africa, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has thrown its weight behind the Department of Basic Education to ensure that parents and learners can still access learning material during lockdown.
The SABC and the Department of Basic Education have launched a multi-media learner support initiative under the banner: COVID-19 Learner Support aimed at limiting the impact of the lockdown to the school calendar. The initiative is part of the broader efforts to prevent a total loss of school year since the lockdown was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa as a measure to combat the spread of COVID-19.
The programme is broadcasted across three SABC TV Channels and 13 radio stations with online support. The series provides curriculum support lessons to learners in Grades 10, 11 & 12 and Early Childhood Development (ECD). Some of the subjects covered include Maths, Physical Sciences, English FAL, Life Sciences and Accounting. A variety of African languages are also covered under the ECD basket.
This initiative is also launched in anticipation of the mid-year exams due in June 2020. Learners are encouraged to check their local listings for the exact slots for radio.The SABC and the National Department of Basic Education created the campaign to be the daily source of information and the central shared hub for learner support.
According to the SABC COO the multimedia initiative is supported by an online YouTube channel.
“We invite learners to take full advantage of these resources as we believe they will assist them a great deal during this lockdown period to catch up with their school work and better prepare for the upcoming exams in the year,” said SABC COO Ian Plaatjes.
Grade 12 learners are a major concern of the Department of Education. As a result plans have also been made to provide more support for them during this period.
In the midst of the outbreak of Covid-19 in South Africa and the disturbance of national school calendar, SABC Education Virtual Academy (SEVA) has presented SEVA home schooling campaign in support of matric learners.
“We welcome the commitments and support from the public broadcaster to support the education programming during this time of the lockdown. Our learners need all the support they can get in order to continue learning at home as schools are closed because of the coronavirus. We should all do our best to minimise the impact of the disruptions caused by the crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mr Mathanzima Mweli, the Director-General of the Department of Basic Education.
Through online self-help study, learners will enjoy support for the following subjects: Maths, Accounting, Physical Science, Life Science and English First Additional Language (FAL). Each subject is accompanied by: video lessons, notes, flash cards for revision and interactive self-assessment activities.