Not only are more people than ever working from home, but children around the country are still trying to continue with their curriculum as much as possible. Our schools have never had to manage their pupils from home and are finding inventive ways for teachers to get the right study material to pupils. Krugersdorp High has set up a drive-through data centre where parents can get material so that their children can continue with e-learning.
Data costs are prohibitive for many people – regardless of recent data price reductions – and it makes effective e-learning from home very difficult for a lot of pupils. Krugersdorp High’s data centre allows parents to park their cars on the school’s sport field, connect to the school Wi-Fi and download the needed study materials for their children.
Lauren Jooste-Cootsee, marketing manager, said: “We kicked off with the programme when schools were supposed to go back on the April 10. Before then, everything was done through WhatsApp, but now we have added Moodle and Microsoft Teams.”
The school knew they had to assist parents with the data costs, especially with video lessons that can use a lot of data. While the teachers do live classes online, the sessions are recorded and it can be downloaded for study afterwards.
Government is looking at starting to reopen schools at staggered dates, but it will still be some time. While some schools are expected to reopen in June, the department wants schools in ‘hotspots’ such as Buffalo City, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, eThekwini, Mangaung and Nelson Mandela Bay to be regarded as being on lockdown level 5 and remain closed for the time beyond this date.
More initiatives like the one at Krugersdorp High will be needed country-wide for pupils to have any change of closing out their 2020 school year.
“Schools are wanting to continue education in one way or another, but data has been an issue. Our principal, Mr Ivan Bailey, sat down with the IT guys and asked how to help parents. We already had the Wi-Fi infrastructure, so we just made it available to parents,” Jooste-Cootsee said.