Online Learning Day has been celebrated in America for several years, but studying online is rapidly becoming popular in other parts of the world, including South Africa, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
As lockdowns were imposed in various parts of the world, many parents opted to switch to remote learning for health and safety reasons and also to ensure their children did not fall behind.
September 15, Online Learning Day, aims to cultivate awareness and support for the ever-growing community of online learners and to celebrate the vast potential online learning offers.
One of the biggest online schools in Africa, Teneo Education, said it recognised the important role online learning affords the youth and that education was a powerful vehicle of opportunity.
Teneo Education CEO John Shaw said: “Online learning by its very nature supports and develops personal independence and prepares students for the modern workplace. Online learning accelerates an individual’s need to think critically, solve problems and become the confident forward-thinkers that the 21st century needs.”
Shaw recognised that while online learning has been in existence for decades, the pandemic caused a sudden spike in popularity.
In line with this trend, Teneo has seen considerable growth over the past three years, with an impressive 567% increase in student numbers and a colossal 1 400% increase in teacher numbers from September 2019 to September 2021.
“Teneo started with a few hundred students in 2018 and in line with the growing trend in online schooling, now have three schools, offering both South African and British international curricula, with over 480 teachers who offer live online lessons to over 8 000 students,” adds Shaw.
According to Unicef, online education allows for the democratisation of education, adding that at global and regional levels, most students (about 70%) have assets at home that enable them to learn remotely via digital or broadcast classes.
Meanwhile, tech company Fireflies reported that online educational formats are more flexible, offering variety and the ability to customise one’s learning experience