This pandemic has caused chaos in every department and industry in the country. For the department of education, they've seen major losses in teaching and learning time while also exposing inequalities which exist.
Performance in Mathematics and Science subjects have especially been negatively impacted. Learners who were doing well before are not able to do produce the same quality of work as they did before due to missing out on class time.
These types of subjects are difficult to learn on your own with teachers having to adjust to a new way of teaching as well.
Telkom Foundation CEO, Sarah Mthintso, said that by the time a learner is in grade 8, they already have foundational deficiencies:
So they struggle with content they would have missed in intermediate so by the time they get to high school, they already are battling so Covid has not made the situation easier.
Covid has resulted in learners missing out on contact classes and have not been able to catch up since, which has of course become a major issue.
The Telkom Foundation has made efforts to understand the issue in order to solve it. Diagnostics tests with learners are then done to identify the existing gaps and then solutions are tailor-made to fit the particular learner.
The foundation has provided ICT resources which Mthintso says has resulted in learners having more access to computers, connectivity and content.
We've seen that they have been able to get some education and able to improve because technology doesn't replace what happens in the classroom but it really does enable a child who is unable to go to school due to Covid.
It has been reported that learners have lost out on over 50% of their teaching and learning time and are behind when it comes to the curriculum with even the department saying that they are in a crisis.