With the confirmation of the first case of the Corona Virus in South Africa, questions are being asked as to whether the epidemic is likely to spread and how it will impact on basic services such as public transport and education. Chief Executive Officer of Distance Educator, Brainline, Coleen Cronje, says it is hoped that government has measures in place to contain a possible outbreak which could impact on amongst others, the education of thousands.
‘Government has given the assurance that it is on top of the situation, however, it would be advisable to look at measures by other countries to curb the scourge. As the virus has spread, other countries have implemented extraordinary measures with around 13 countries closing their schools and universities, highlighting possible measures that may be taken locally.
In other parts of the world like Italy and China, schools have shut down and it is estimated that more than 300 million children are missing school. The United Nations has described the global scale and speed of the educational disruption from the coronavirus epidemic as “unparalleled”.
In the United Arab Emirates, school terms have been reduced and following the March-holidays, classes will be provided on an online basis. Cronje says virtual or online classes will be more relevant than ever, given the current circumstances.
‘Schools will now have to break down the invisible walls of learning and traditional classrooms to make way for new technology. At Brainline we have already introduced virtual classes since the beginning of the year to bridge the gap between education and innovation through technology.’
Cronje says the online classes give students a blend of both in-person and online instruction. Learners are able to engage in weekly bilingual online classes, presented by qualified teachers via video communication technologies.
‘Brainline Cloudschool Teachers present classes online in innovative ways, challenging the status quo of traditional “talk-and-chalk” teaching. These online classes, also recorded and made available for later viewing, break down the invisible walls of traditional teaching by presenting the curriculum in new and exciting ways, bringing the classroom to life, and invigorating lesson material. Brainline is revolutionising home education for today’s learner,’ Cronje explains.
Brainline is IEB recognised, which means that learners follow the South African National curriculum (similar to the curriculum offered in South African schools) resulting in the National Senior Certificate (NSC) upon successful completion of their matric exams.