South Africa: New Zealand Home Schooling System Could Hold Lessons for Nation

opinion

The lockdown has highlighted again the parlous state of South Africa's schooling system, but it has also resulted in complaints by parents trying desperately to cope with educating their children at home in often extremely difficult conditions. New Zealand's Correspondence School (now Te Kura -- The School in the Maori language) may have some very useful lessons from its past and present, both for now and post Covid-19.

Parents around the country are complaining at having to cope with doubling as teachers for children kept home during the lockdown. But home schooling or distance learning should be no problem if properly organised. And it could give better results than conventional classrooms.

The distance learning experience of New Zealand seems to have good lessons for the South Africa of today. A mix of historic practice and the state-of-the-art digital programmes now operating in that Pacific country might well help lift South Africa's dismal education sector to a new and better level.

However, any such system would require not only good, highly qualified teachers, it would also need the support at a national level of both the government and the national broadcaster. This I can say from personal experience, having spent nearly...

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