Twenty schools in KwaZulu-Natal’s remote Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift region of
Zululand are beneficiaries of three-month free internet as schools around the country come to terms with the new normal presented by the outbreak of COVID-19.
Satellite internet provider MorClick, in partnership with YahClick, decided to support the work of non-governmental organisation, KHULA Education. The entities aim to introduce multi-media digital learning experiences to both teachers and pupils in deep rural South Africa.
Supported by the David Rattray Foundation, KHULA works to provide children from under-served rural communities with quality education. KHULA also enhances teachers’ skills through direct support and training.
“Transformed learning expanded the capacity to educate and dramatically improved the quality and effectiveness of teaching, literally, overnight,” said Debbie Heustice, director at KHULA Education.
“Over 6 000 learners and 200 teachers have access to streaming quality internet in one of the most remote and under-resourced parts of South Africa, affordably transforming their ability to integrate themselves into global knowledge and learning value chains via satellite internet,” said Heustice.
The Coronavirus pandemic has exposed the deep inequalities that exist in South Africa’s education system, with affluent schools able to transition to online learning better than their less-resourced counterparts in the townships and rural areas.
Fakazi Buthelezi, the principal at Buhlebamangwe Primary School in Nquthu, said network connection in the area is a nightmare.
“My school is situated in a deep rural area where network is patchy. If one wants to connect to the internet, one has to drive 3km from the school to the tar road where connection is better,” Buthelezi said.
Dumsile Luvuno, the principal at Springlake Secondary School in Nquthu, said the internet-connection assistance has made staff’s job easier.
“With satellite internet in the school, everything can now be done on site rather than travelling to a central school.”