BY Mmaki Jantjies —
While celebrating this year’s World Teachers Day, we should recognise how the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the key role that teachers already play in South Africa’s schools.
Before the pandemic, many teachers in the country had not received substantive formal technology training, either to support blended teaching and learning or to fully apply online learning. The decision by the Ministry of Basic Education to shut down schools in response to the pandemic forced teachers to adapt and innovate to ensure that learning continued despite the challenges faced.
South African schools are clustered into quintiles ranging from one to five. This was done to ensure an equal and fair distribution of resources across schools. Schools in the lower quintiles are often based in under-served communities where resources are limited, while quintile five schools are well resourced. This approach was introduced to address past inequities which affected schools. Regional variances, therefore, exist in terms of access to computer labs and related computing resources.