Online Learning Challenges
COVID-19 has forced schools and universities around the world to adopt online learning. The prospect of having an entire nation’s university experience compacted into a personal electronic device in a country like South Africa, is puzzling to say the least.
Different data deals for online learning and access have been made to assist students in need across universities. Amendments to courses have been made, prerequisite module requirements for Semester 2 courses have been waived at some universities, while others have decided that there will be no academic exclusions during 2020.
But as Ahmed Bawa (CEO of Universities South Africa) points out, some universities are betterresourced than others to offer digital learning. Issues around learning environment and dealing with an ongoing pandemic persist for students.
The interim SRC at UJ called for a suspension of online learning and teaching stating challenges students face and requirements to be fulfilled. Since then UJ has secured 30GB of data per student per month and a further distribution of 4000 laptops to qualifying students as part of the remote learning programme. We want to understand if all of this is enough for students.