Pretoria News

SA college gets prize for virtual education

- JONISAYI MAROMO

PRETORIA-BASED

Think Digital College scooped the internatio­nal Corporate Livewire Prestige Award, run out of the UK, in the category of Virtual School of the Year 2020/21.

The Corporate Livewire Prestige Awards recognise small and medium-sized businesses “that have proven to be the best in their market” over the past 12 months. All shortliste­d companies are asked to support their nomination with evidence of their work, positive feedback from their clients, informatio­n on previous accreditat­ions and recognitio­n, as well as highlight the most outstandin­g parts of their businesses.

The judging panel bases its decisions on areas such as service excellence, quality of the product/service provided, innovative practices, value, ethical or sustainabl­e methods of working, as well as consistenc­y in performanc­e.

Think Digital College chief executive Janessa Leita – a prominent campaigner of virtual learning in South Africa – said the 2020/21 award was particular­ly important because it came at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic proved that online learning was the future of education.

“This award is very special to all of us at Think Digital College because it comes at a critical epoch not only in education, but our whole lives in totality. Many years before the Covid-19 pandemic, and throughout the current outbreak, we have been providing a state-of-the-art learning environmen­t where learners, from wherever they are geographic­ally, are taught through online sessions by our highly qualified staff complement,” she said.

“We provide the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements and British internatio­nal curricula in an integrated, engaging and effective way to our rising number of learners. Our aim is to produce young adults who are innovative, creative and independen­t in their thinking, who have courage, perseveran­ce and resilience and who believe in themselves and their potential.”

She said the name “Think Digital” derived from a strong belief that thinking is one of the most important skills every child should be encouraged.

“We have so much informatio­n at our finger tips, but we need to learn how to think creatively in order to use this informatio­n to plan, design and innovate – for anything new,” she said.

Meanwhile, because of the growing popularity of online learning amid the Covid-19 global pandemic, Leita said Think Digital College was expanding to the US and the United Arab Emirates.

Education activist Hendrick Makaneta said the Covid-19 pandemic, which closed all physical schools for months in South Africa, caught the nation unprepared, but the lessons were priceless.

“The awarding of the award to a South African school is great news to all of us in the terrain of education. This signals the beginning of a path towards greater performanc­e as we grapple with the demands of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The Covid-19 pandemic caught us unprepared and has exposed the gaps that exist between private and public schooling,” said Makaneta.

“If anything, government should work around the clock to close these visible gaps and ensure that the African child is not left behind. It should be clear at this point that government alone will not be able to resolve the challenges that are faced primarily by rural and township schools.”

He appealed to the private sector to come on board and assist in the process of bringing virtual learning to all communitie­s. | African News Agency (ANA)

 ??  ?? JANESSA LEITA, chief executive of online school Think Digital College.
JANESSA LEITA, chief executive of online school Think Digital College.

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