It is no secret that COVID-19 has caused so much uncertainty leaving many students and learners across the country distressed about resources and the viability of studying online. Although the President has asked us to maintain social distancing for our safety, your academics do not have to suffer in the process. Therefore, many free resources and tools have been made available during this time by universities, corporations and various brands. Take your learning style online!
Available resources for school learners:
Africa Teen geeks have launched a COVID-19 lockdown digital school. These include STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) classes begin from 8 am to 5 pm. Pupils will be offered live lessons and the virtual classes will be offered at no cost to learners. Sessions will, however, be recorded and posted on MsZora the Teen Geeks platform and the Department of Education’s website.
SASOL is also offering free resources and textbooks to all learners and parents. The platform is called Siyavula and normally a subscription fee has to be paid but during the lockdown period, the material is free of charge. Textbooks include those of Mathematics, Mathematical Literacy, Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, Information Technology (IT) and Computer Application Technology (CAT).
This platform has also been zero-rated to help during the lockdown so you can access without data. They offer Maths, Science and humanities classes. They have quizzes, exercises and instructional videos to help improve those skills. The most interesting part is that you get feedback and encouragement.
Pearson has partnered with ITSI to provide free 60 e-books from the 6th of April to 31st of May 2020. These are all CAPS approved titles and all you need to do is to sign up via the ITSI platform. Additionally, Pearson provides classroom solutions where you can download free teaching and learning resources. You sign up for free and download the resources for free as well.
Vodacom offers e-school for free to their Vodacom customers. All you need to do is to register and start learning.
Zero-rated education websites
Universities, colleges, institutions, and various brands have come together to make online access easier. As mentioned above for some platforms, Telkom has zero-rated the websites of universities and colleges to allow teaching and learning to continue. This means that materials can be downloaded for free from the respective websites.
Free access to journals
Wits University Press has partnered with JSTOR and Proquest to provide digital content to university libraries of almost 200 books up to 1 July 2020. This content can be accessed for free.
Pearson South Africa offers the DLC course which will be FREE to those who register in April. The course is a self-paced online, modular, and non-linear programme that is aimed at South Africans who want to improve their digital skills.
Future Learn, a digital online platform offers online courses on how to code or build your skills in programming online to gain a better understanding of how websites and apps are designed and developed. These skills are not just for developers, it is for anyone who would like to pursue their interest in coding and programming or advance in their career. The coding and programming courses are led by leading tech experts.
Lastly, UNESCO has provided an extensive list of platforms, resources and tools to make online learning much easier. There are free books, websites and applications for various subjects. Although the situation we find ourselves in is unusual and unfortunate for everyone, it will require some flexibility. The first step is making use of the available resources as much as you can.