TV classrooms – the technology already exists, but corona is forcing it into the mainstream

Dr. Wynand Boshoff

The technology needed to offer school education through distance learning is already widely in use. Thus, the technology is available and has already been tested on a limited scale.

This is important seeing as the Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, announced on Tuesday that when schools reopen, classes will be presented over the television.

She encouraged parents to still wake their children up, have them get dressed in their school clothes and do their schoolwork.

Her Department is simultaneously making use of the opportunity to speed up the migration to digital education, particularly in less privileged households with grade 9 and 12 learners.

It would be valuable if the Department of Basic Education consults with private education institutions when these channels are put into use. President Cyril Ramaphosa often refers to the necessity for social cooperation, the so-called "social compact".

Instead of learning the lessons that are to be learnt with regard to digital education all over again, the experience already gained by the private sector should be applied. It would make a good example of what the President aspires to.

Education will never be the same again. The technology for a well revised educational model has been in existence for years. Valuable experience was also gained. The current crisis could serve as a watershed to force these practices into mainstream education.

Much depends on the question of whether public education is willing to learn from independent education or not.

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