Telkom Looking for SA’s Content Creators To Feature On Its New Video Service, TelkomONE

Telkom is looking for fresh local content creators to contribute content to and have it featured on its new video service called TelkomONE -...

Latest Posts

Low-Cost Internet Pilot Project in Soweto Empowers Young People

FibrePoynt, Thabure Towerco and Phuthanang Youth Trust have installed a pilot network in Central Western Jabavu, Soweto. The pilot network offers the high-density township,...

Telkom Unveils Its New FreeMe Share Plans Targeting Data Users

Telkom has launched FreeMe Share Plans, a shared data plan that allows multiple SIMs to share a single data plan. The company said in a...

Dlamini-Zuma Asked To Provide Reasons For Extending Lockdown – or see you in court.

DearSA attorneys Hurter Spies this week sent a letter  to Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma asking her to provide reasons why she...

Paxful Highlights Security and User Education Can Boost Trust in Crypto

In acknowledging Cybersecurity Awareness Month during October this year, leading peer-to-peer (P2P) cryptocurrency marketplace, Paxful, is highlighting the importance of security awareness amongst users...

Coronavirus: Overcoming the Educational Digital Divide in South Africa

South African schools and tertiary institutions, like in many countries around the world, will remain closed for a lockdown period that is aimed at curbing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. But schools have asked parents and children to ensure that learning continues at home.

In the days after the State President’s first announcement of measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus on the 15th of March 2020, many schools have successfully taken the curricular online. So for many students, it’s back to school this week, albeit from home. Their teachers have created lesson plans, activities and assignments to complete; to ensure that students do not miss out on crucial learning during the lockdown.

The recent announcement of zero-rated educational and informational (reference) websites were a crucial move by South Africa’s mobile networks, an indication of how seriously the ICT industries take their role to impact society where they can in positive ways.

Online education can be a societal equaliser

Digital Learning is about engaging the scholar anywhere and at any time, in meaningful and relevant ways. Online education is, additionally, an important societal equalizer, as all students will be in a position to access the world’s best educational content regardless of economic barriers. This is contingent on Broadband becoming ubiquitous.

In the throes of the novel coronavirus in China, several traditional schools had to postpone the new semester until mid-February or until the end of March.

The Ministry of Education made known its plans to launch a national internet cloud classroom on the 17th of February 2020, where a number of teaching materials and courses for students would be made available. While the country entered a lock-down period to curb the spread of the disease, scholars would still be able to continue with their curriculum by connecting to their learning content, classroom and teachers over Broadband internet access.

As South Africa prepares to meet this highly disruptive and destructive virus head-on, we must concurrently ensure that the foundation is built and strengthened to withstand any future shocks that may come. This requires us to begin today, by removing the barriers that prevent us from delivering this value to the country’s children and to its citizens.

 Learning enhanced by Technology

Technology Enhanced Learning is not only about the innovative use of a digital tool, and methodologies for the delivery of teaching; it is more about how we interact. A child will find that himself or herself, has never been more important than he/she has been in the traditional contact teaching methods, since the teaching shifts from one-on-all, to one-on-one mode.

With the help of digital systems like, live virtual classrooms, the teachers themselves must be able to deliver classes, live with some and with rich media content; and students must be able to interact in real-time with their teacher. A digital education platform must allow for tracking and monitoring of the progress of all pupils, as well as tracking of the progress of all teachers delivering the curriculum using electronic means, and their students.

Moving up the chain of command, class progress, school progress, district progress and provincial progress must all be monitored for administrative reporting and management. Enabling this digital education platform to work in South Africa’s context; means that every child in the schooling system, be it private or public, must have access to some essentials.

Broadband access becomes a necessity

For smoother teaching, interesting learning and efficient monitoring, a broadband connection is a primary requirement. Improving the pace at which broadband is developed in the country underpins many, if not all, endeavours to limit the impact of external forces and disruptions to education provision and other public service delivery.

With the lockdown measures, the demand for remote access has just surged. Globally, countries have begun releasing temporary spectrum for operators to meet the increased customer demand for broadband in this period when countries battle to bring the coronavirus pandemic under control.

In South Africa, data traffic surged between 35% and 60%, as reported in almost all local networks. Mobile network operators in the country have started to drop data costs. Yet, some in the country may not be able to access the rich content that’s been made available, due to issues of Broadband access or network capacity.

For broadband to be expanded in the country, for the capacity to be built up to allow for large-scale use of online services going beyond education to health, government and commerce applications, requires a host of elements to be in place now.

Spectrum, access to sites for small cells, swift site application approvals, simpler processes and reasonably costed wayleaves, affordable devices and data are just some of the required elements that support a robust digital ecosystem for any country.

It is only once operators are able to deploy new network sites more easily and more rapidly, and perhaps more cost-effectively, that South Africans will start to see the benefits of expanded broadband networks, in how their daily lives are impacted. The cost-effectiveness could also be passed on to consumers to make the telecommunications services more affordable so that online education could be a new norm not only at this special moment but also when we return to normal life.

  • David Chen, vice president, Huawei Southern Africa Region

Latest Posts

Low-Cost Internet Pilot Project in Soweto Empowers Young People

FibrePoynt, Thabure Towerco and Phuthanang Youth Trust have installed a pilot network in Central Western Jabavu, Soweto. The pilot network offers the high-density township,...

Telkom Unveils Its New FreeMe Share Plans Targeting Data Users

Telkom has launched FreeMe Share Plans, a shared data plan that allows multiple SIMs to share a single data plan. The company said in a...

Dlamini-Zuma Asked To Provide Reasons For Extending Lockdown – or see you in court.

DearSA attorneys Hurter Spies this week sent a letter  to Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma asking her to provide reasons why she...

Paxful Highlights Security and User Education Can Boost Trust in Crypto

In acknowledging Cybersecurity Awareness Month during October this year, leading peer-to-peer (P2P) cryptocurrency marketplace, Paxful, is highlighting the importance of security awareness amongst users...

Don't Miss

South African Casino Operators Push For Online Casino Legislation

South African casino operators such as Tsogo Sun and Sun International are quietly pushing the government to pass legislation allowing online casinos to operate...

Cell C Loses Court Bid to Stop ICTU Strike Action

Cell C on Tuesday suffered another blow when the Labour Court in Johannesburg ruled that its application to interdict members of the Information Communications...

Africa’s First Adaptive Learning Online High School Launches

Prestigious, independent school, Bridge House and award-winning EdTech company, Digemy, have joined forces to create ConnectEd - the first Independent Examinations Board (IEB) curriculum...

Mercedes-Benz Gives Its EQC Electric vehicle The 4×4² Treatment

Mercedes-Benz has given its EQC electric vehicle the 4x4² treatment. The EQC 4x4² is an electric car of extremes. Mercedes-Benz wishes to test the...

Nedbank Signs Up 100 000 Customers for its Avo Super App

Avo, launched at the height of the national lockdown, has surpassed the 100 000 customer mark in September 2020 and continues to evolve alongside its...

Stay in touch

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

%d bloggers like this: