Blended Education and Entrepreneurship in South Africa
The real world as we know it has changed, we have adopted technology into every fundamental task. We live in an age where our world is online, with the fourth industrial revolution inspiring a dynamic approach to daily life. At the heart of this change, we need to start producing people and an education system that is ready to tackle life in a fresh new world. There is currently a game-changer in the works – the Department of Basic Education is advocating entrepreneurship in South Africa and putting ideas forward to teach people valuable life skills in schools.
The aim of this curriculum change is to future-proof people for a new world that is being flung upon us at a rapidly evolving rate. If Covid-19 has taught us anything, it is that we need to be prepared for the unexpected, whilst modelling an education system on entrepreneurial skills and real-world expertise in order to survive in an ever-changing society that values the virtual world.
There are major flaws in this inclusive plan – children living in townships like Masiphumelele do not often have access to online education and resources – this is a big barrier that we need to overcome, especially if we want to overhaul education for the South African youth.
Follow us as we explore the popularity of online learning in South African education and new changes to the school curriculum – aiming to incorporate entrepreneurship in South Africa, which will ultimately produce holistic people ready for the post fourth industrial revolution workplace.
Parents in Favour of Online Learning
During the South African lockdown children were at home embracing e-learning resources, now, with children back in brick and mortar classrooms intermittently, parents are waking up to the need to stay relevant in a new age of information. A study by Smartick – an e-learning developer with access to advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technology found that most parents are in favour of a balanced blend of online and traditional learning. The one distinct benefit for children from this type of approach is varied personalised learning. An AI-based adaptive learning programme can ensure each child’s learning experience is completely unique and relevant to their level of competency – keeping them interested, challenged and engaged.
The greater question at hand is why we do not put systems in place now, especially when children are only currently attending classes two or three times a week. Even though the school year has been extended somewhat and examination structures altered to accommodate what was learnt, we need to ask why children do not learn between real physical classes mixed with online learning right now. Surely this should be somewhat of a norm, like working from home became during the lockdown.
Masicorp has been at the forefront of this type of learning, allowing certain programmes to resume in the physical sense and by providing support to all our programmes via virtual world support. We are pioneering targeted programmes that ensure the community benefit from quality physical and virtual education and it is an area we plan to grow – keeping hope in Masiphumelele alive.
Changes to School Curriculum Imminent
As a country, we need to start teaching people how to use the virtual world in conjunction with the real world to promote key skills like entrepreneurship in South Africa. This is a controversial debate in many countries and the introduction of real-life skills in school curriculum must be implemented to provide people with a holistic education that can evolve with the world’s demands.
Minister Angie Motshekga says: “The Department of Basic Education (DBE) is constantly working towards aligning the curriculum to the demands of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.” The minister recently responded in a written parliamentary Q&A and said that robotics and coding along with other valuable life skills and trades will be included in the school curriculum by the year 2024.
Another exciting feature that is due to be added to the curriculum is entrepreneurship in South Africa and entrepreneurial skills. It is not enough that we know about the technology of the fourth industrial revolution, we need to engage with it and use it to our competitive advantage so that we can secure a livelihood in future. It is not so much reinventing the wheel but rather adapting current progression to align with new norms, allowing us to give our people a competitive edge that will make us stand-out players in the global market.
Masicorp is constantly seeking innovative solutions and welcomes these changes. We are working hard at the Early Childhood Development phase to see how we can align with these visions. We understand that no two children are alike and the need for personalised education that can have a direct impact on a child’s future is essential in communities like Masiphumelele.
Our skills development programmes including our sewing initiatives and computer-based learning for adults and teens provide community members with valuable skills, which carry people forward into the workplace resulting in self-sufficiency and sustainability. We are passionate about education – it is only the best if you live the motto you put your name behind and that is exactly what Masicorp does. This can be seen in our Pathways programme, which helps to prepare teens for possible career choices and awakens them to real-world experiences.
Be a part of our vision now and help us create the South Africa we are all striving for. Donate to quality education in Masiphumelele, which will have a ripple effect in our country, allowing people to progress out from poverty and into a new world.