Centering Prayer

19th and 20th October
Social Justice, Pandemic, Reflection

What is Next on Education after Covid-19?

Malcolm Gertse (Community Empowerment Coordinator) and Prudence Jantlo (Education Coordinator) of the Justice Desk, A Human Rights NPO based in South Africa share their thoughts on the impact that Covid 19 has had on education in South Africa.

Parents across the country, here in Ireland, have had to work with home schooling their children. It has not been an uniform experience for all parents. Some have by some stroke of genius mastered it while others have fumbled their way through at all times, trying their best. Parents have experienced a real mixed bag when it comes to engagement with schools and teachers.

Some schools have been very thorough with engaging learners and parents on a daily basis in their adventure of home schooling using a variety of digital platforms. Other schools have been minimalist in their contact. Some tried to run an almost full day school program for their students while others resorted to weekly emails outlining the work they expected the students to cover.

Parents have had to balance how and who uses the limited number of digital devices in the homes when it comes to getting school work done and trying to work from home as well. While some students have bravely covered all that was asked of them others have learnt skills they would not have had the time to learn had they been in school the whole time.

All of us have learnt much. Some have learnt that education is far more than mere academics. Others have become aware of the inequalities in our society when it comes to access and availability to quality educational material and opportunities. Others became aware of how much a food feeding program sustained children who were disadvantaged. We became aware not only of a global disparity when it comes to access and availability of quality education but we recognised similar disparity nationally and locally.

We must, however, recognise the wonderful work that schools, teachers and parents did to ensure that children were able to navigate this very unusual and new landscape that we all found ourselves in.

  • Do you envisage the future of education changing post Covid 19?
  • What are your hopes and your fears for education in the near future?
  • Is digital learning really the way of the future or have we come to a greater appreciation of classroom based social learning?



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