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With the national lockdown, education institutions kicked into action to use online technologies to continue with their programmes while learners are at home. This has kickstarted a much more permanent change from school education to online education. After lockdown, many learners will not be returning to school. Many parents will not be able to afford school fees anymore while others are concerned about the risk of infection at schools. Many learners will not have schools to return to, since these were burgled, vandalised or torched.

The digital divide

Online education works well for teachers and learners with high speed Internet access at home.

However, learners and teachers from lower income groups do not have high speed Internet or computers/tablets to get access to online education. Many rely on public libraries or internet cafes to get access to the Internet, which were closed down as part of lockdown. Futurist Dr Morne Mostert, director of the Institute for Futures Research at the University of Stellenbosch, predicts that the lockdown and resultant isolation could be creating a new digital elite due to their unlimited internet access and hence continued access to good educational instruction for their children. This situation is causing a divide between those with access to the information superhighway and those without, threatening the social cohesion of society.

The low bandwidth bridge

The Inschool VSSTM (Virtual School System) was designed to provide education using mobile phones (Android only) at very low bandwidth. The platform uses 80% less bandwidth to distribute the video lessons to learners, than other systems. This makes the service available to learners in rural areas and affordable to low income learners. Lessons are on enabled smartphones. No special equipment or extensive training needed for teachers or tutors. This platform will enable education providers to reach those learners without high speed internet access.

The opportunity to bridge the digital divide

In order to empower education institutions to provide online education to learners without access to high speed internet, Homeschoolers.Org is cooperating with Inschool VSSTM to provide a special offer for educational institutions. The offer consist of the following items:

  • The creation of a virtual school with classrooms on the platform will be free.
  • Users can add their own learners to the classroom at a cost of R300 per learner per month. The first two learners will be free to help users to develop their lessons
  • Users can create their own lessons for free. If users use lessons created by Inschool VSSTM the cost will be R300 per subject per month.
If you are interested to be set up with a test online classroom, please complete and submit the form below. Name (required) Name of School (required) Email addres (required) Phone number (required) School Type

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