SA col­lege gets prize for vir­tual ed­u­ca­tion

Pretoria News - - METRO - 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.

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