Child in an online class Photo: Supplied
Child in an online class Photo: Supplied

Interchanging SA Education System for the benefit of the Economy

By Harvest Thwala Time of article published Nov 16, 2021

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The South African economy will not be able to remain globally competitive if it does not move away from Victorian-era, rote learning systems and embrace education methods that are tailored for the new digital future of work. This is according to Jackie Cook, Chief Operating Officer at Teneo Online School, who says the world of work is changing fast, and children can and must adapt to it to flourish.

“The current education system is based on the Victorian rote learning system, which was primarily developed for the era of industrialisation, which encouraged obedient thinkers who did what they were told. Children were placed in rows, told to sit still, and memorise a single, standardised curriculum of subjects that were appropriate at one time. But the new world of work needs multifaceted problem solvers, critical and independent thinkers who find solutions and are not afraid to be wrong until they are right,” said Cook.

Online education is the only way we can kickstart a more equal and educated society and a more inclusive knowledge economy.

“Today, there is a huge push towards contract and project-based working models with a strong gig economy, both around the world and in SA. The platforms that enable this gig economy and freelancing lifestyle will only get bigger in the future. We must equip our children for this new future of work, for their own sake, and for the sake of our country’s future,” says Cook.

Many different models for online education exist, but the two main streams are live (synchronous) and video (asynchronous) teaching.

“Synchronous online learning offers the best of both worlds. Your child gets immediate and ongoing attention from dedicated teachers who provide live online classes and the benefits of a nurturing teacher-child relationship, but all lessons are recorded and can be re-watched.

“Learners and parents have around the clock access to a treasure trove of resources, including all past lessons, teaching materials and the real-time status of their assignments and marks. They get notified of upcoming deadlines and missed deadlines. Everything is housed in our state-of-the-art learner management system, which the teachers, learners and parents all find invaluable and indispensable as a resource.”

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