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Has Learning Stopped?

Half of the students out of school due to #COVID19, 826 million people, do not have access to computers at home.

Distance learning solutions cannot be limited to online means. The world must leave no one behind.

This Tweet pushed me to reflect on the past few weeks since March 18 when our school closed it’s doors due to the COVID19.

I am very satisfied that for our students learning never stopped for our students. I know this form joining lessons and receiving parent feedback.

Although learning never stopped, it has slowed down for many.

For the older students, with access to a fast and reliable internet service and a dedicated device, learning didn’t stop. For younger students with non working parents, who are prepared to take on a teacher or teacher assistant role by being hands-on at home, learning hasn’t stopped.

For those in between, there are have certainly been disruptions to learning. I have witnessed some of our teachers scheduling additional one to one classes, to to accommodate working parents and limited devices. This will ensure no child is left behind.

Our teachers haven’t stopped learning either and through necessity are becoming skilled online and Flipped Learning educators. This has progressed my School Development Plan very nicely.

Even though learning may be interrupted for 9 out of 10 students globally, there is no doubt that for these students, they will soon catch up and any deficit will be closed.

Spare a thought for those where learning has never started and sadly, very unlikely to start. #worldbookday2020 cannot enjoy the pleasure and benefits of opening a book and dreaming of a future. Today, education remains an inaccessible right for millions of children around the world. More than 72 million children of primary education age are not in school and 759 million adults are illiterate and do not have the awareness necessary to improve both their living conditions and those of their children.

COVID19, global warming or terrorism are not the biggest threats to civilization. The biggest threat is lack of education, so we all know to do the right thing fr humanity.

By Mr Jarlath Daniel Madine, Principal of Beaconhouse Newlands International School