The South African Institute of Civil Engineers (Saice) encourages students to take up free online lessons from nonprofit educational organisation the Khan Academy, in light of many students being homebound for at least 21 days under the national lockdown regulations aimed at impeding the spread of Covid-19.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the drastic measures in hopes of dramatically slowing the rampant spread of the virus in South Africa and many fear that students in particular have a lot to lose in terms of extended periods out of class.
Saice received communication from the Khan Academy on March 17 in response to the school closures around the world.
The academy has developed daily schedules for students, hosted webinars for teachers and a parent webinar coming on April 1, as well as holding daily livestreams.
The resource page of the academy gets updated regularly.
The Khan Academy is suitable for learners from pre-school to Grade 12.
Saice says the Khan Academy, which was created by Salman Khan in 2008, possesses a lot of benefits for students during this time. The organisation also says the Khan Academy was developed with the purpose of developing a set of online tools that help educate students.
Further, Saice moved into the online learning arena through the Khan Academy. Speaking on behalf of Saice, past president Brian Downie says the academy produces short lessons in the form of videos, with its website also including supplementary practice exercises and materials for educators.
“Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, among many others, the organisation’s goal is to provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.”
He adds that, in 2018, Saice partnered with free access online mathematics website ClickMaths (with the sanction of the Department of Basic Education) to roll out a programme to schools across South Africa offering the Khan Academy in English, Zulu and Xhosa.
This initiative received a major boost with the support of Telkom BCX which offered free data to every South African who logs on to Khan Academy through bcxlearn.com using a Telkom Sim-card.