There is no doubt about it that the education system has drastically been affected by Covid-19. A nationwide Lockdown was initiated in March which also meant that schools were closed indefinitely. As the Lockdown continued from weeks to months teachers used many alternative methods to continue educating students with high tech online learning solutions to low tech solutions like printed out worksheets delivered. However not everyone has access to these solutions as there is a huge digital divide; to add on teachers have varying digital skills. Many families and teachers also cannot afford the data necessary to sustain some online learning activities.
Even though there are some educational sites that are Zero rated, it still an issue for students to access these platforms without devices. More recently The department of basic education has re-opened schools to grade 7 and 12 pupils and according to the DBE Authorities have implemented various safety measures, including temperature checks at school gates and making it mandatory for students to wear face masks and observe physical distancing. Within the first month alone nearly 775 schools in the country were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the number of confirmed cases rising.
Earlier this month more than 30 schools had to close due to the rising number. With infections expected to spike in the next few weeks also bearing in mind being winter. The PSA (Public Service Association) said in a statement "Resuming school in mid-winter is not a wise decision as flu-like illness will flare up amongst learners and create confusion with COVID-19 symptoms. With some educators to be placed in self-isolation and others on sick leave owing to infection, the schooling system will be under extreme strain to finalise the academic year," The year is coming to a close with only 5 months left in the academic year, teachers and parents are concerned with the children resuming with their education but are more worried with the risk of them being exposed to Covid-19. As the government scrambles to find a solution that both protects the public and accomplish their goal, the public waits in fear for both. During this dire time Learning Alive has gone above and beyond to provide free online classes for students in disadvantaged communities and provide them with data to access these online lessons. Its our way of securing the future of our youth