Education is a fundamental human right that is globally recognized and recorded in many education policies, including among African countries. As a research educationalist and young leader in the education space, making sure that learning is taking place during this epidemic crisis is what has being keeping me busy.
In South Africa, the concerns of millions of children for the future are the most common ones among the government, as more than a million learners currently leave school. There are fears that the worst is yet to come. Even without taking into account the recent challenges of this pandemic crisis, most learners in South Africa remain deprived in terms of access to education, affordability and equity.
Part of my job as an Educational Researcher is to join in researching and developing educational projects together with the world’s best academics, evaluators, educational activists and leaders in human rights protection in order to contribute meaningfully to shaping solutions to pressures being placed on education systems using evidence-based approaches and solve the global problems of mankind.
Despite this pandemic catastrophe that the world is facing, I have many goals and plans which revolve around improvement of youth well-being, involvement of young people in Africa society, and finding and promoting young leaders. That’s why I strived to take part in an educational organisation named JET Education Services as a Monitoring and Evaluation Researcher.
As a postgraduate student, my learning experience has not been changed much, given the point that I communicate with my lectures using digital devices, the learning also takes place online, which involves attending and participating on online webinars, workshops, trainings, and other related conferences.
In my experience with online learning, the good far outweigh the bad. Taking online learning has saved me money and time. Having a full time job makes it very difficult to schedule classes. The hours I have scheduled at my job conflict with the times that most my learnings are offered. The use of online learning has made things easier. It is very convenient for me not having to meet on a regular basis. However, with the experiences of other students around me is quite different, as online access is not that easy, where the internet is used by just 24 percent of the population and low availability, high prices and regular power interruptions are a major obstacle.
For learners to continue learning during this pandemic crisis, it is important for the educationalist and public officials to begin to consider and evaluate the impacts of COVID-19 in the education sector, because it would otherwise be too costly and too late to rebound. The approach must be all-inclusive and involve all stakeholders, including the civil society and private sector.