VIEW ARTICLE FROM: IOL.CO.ZA
Conventional Learner Support Materials will co-exist with technology for the next five years until the gap between those who have access to resources and those who do not is narrowed.
This is according to Lebone Litho Printers’ chief executive, Keith Michael.
Lebone Litho Printers has provided over 500 million workbooks to over 24 000 schools twice a year. The company shared a more than decade-long relationship with the National Department of Basic Education (DBE).
“Visual learning or remote learning does have a place in the sun for learners and parents that are fortunate enough to afford it. Unfortunately we cannot sweep this under the carpet and pretend our people are not impacted by these residual effects. The government is cognisant of these disparities. Most, if not all, education departments have started rolling out technology, with a particular emphasis on township schools,” he said.
Michael said as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, which caused disruptions in the 2020 and 2021 schools’ calendar, most education departments across the country have implemented technological innovation as well as online platforms.
“The aim is to provide every school child in South Africa with digital workbooks and textbooks on a tablet device. Once again our government is very cognisant of world trends and moving forward at a rapid pace. The government is constantly working towards creating partnerships that will contribute towards rolling out a fibre network to public places like schools, hospitals and police stations, so that they get connectivity at zero-rated costs. Now, with the onset of Covid-19, it has become even more important,” he said.
He said, however, the government’s plans would take time before coming to fruition, thus keeping printed workbooks still relevant.
“We have a huge disparity and thus our township and rural people and the poor cannot be left behind. Many schools were solely reliant on the physical workbooks for pupils, and read during Level 4.”
Michael said it was critical for both corporates, medium-sized and small businesses to galvanise action by forming public partnership to kick-start poorer communities and invest in tomorrow.
“Failing which, we all will pay the price,” he warned.
The printing company chief executive said the end of the hybrid system was a mystery. “Only God can answer this effectively. My own opinion. I hope pupils can return to school,” he said.
“It is scientifically proven that learners learn more effectively and perform well with face-to-face learning and teaching. While the future will no longer be the same, we cannot throw the baby out with the bathwater,” Michael concluded.