Covid-19 has had a huge impact on millions of South Africans, as the country is currently on a 21-day national lockdown, which started on the 26 March 2020 and is expected to end on 16 April 2020.
The lockdown was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa as a measure to help flatten the curve and to stop the spread of the novel Corona Virus.
Unfortunately, this will affect millions of children across the country as this will affect learning.
At SPARK Schools learning is continuing despite the disruption that’s been caused by the Covid-19 virus.
SPARK Schools has created a Home Learning Portal for parents to ensure that learning continues at home. The SPARK Schools Home Learning Portal has been divided into the Foundation Phase, Intermediate Phase and Senior Phase to ensure that all our scholars are catered for.
SPARK Schools Head of the Learning Model Dhereshni Moodley says the home learning portal was created to compensate for the school closure.
“The pandemic made us think about how we can offer SPARK and non-SPARK scholars an opportunity to continue learning while it is unsafe for schools to be open,” Moodley explains.
Internet access is a huge issue for many South Africans and with this in mind, the SPARK Schools team have also uploaded printable resources to cater to parents who do not have access to the internet.
While the portal has been created for aiding learning at home, Moodley says they understand that this might not be easy for parents who are working from home.
“We would really like parents to spend time with their children, cook, bake and play games. If parents are able to get their children online, there are weekly tasks to help children navigate through videos and activities,” Moodley says.
One SPARK parent Lauren Gamba shares how the learning portal has helped her.
Gamba says the SPARK home learning portal has helped to keep her child busy, while she continues to work from home.
Her 6-year-old daughter Sarah-Jo Gamba, who is in Grade-1 at SPARK SPRINGS enjoys doing her ST Math and homework on the home learning portal.
“There is a guideline on the portal showing the type of schedule that we can follow at home that includes Sparks Fly, their daily subjects, quiet time and chore time. It makes my life so much easier when there is a structure that my child is familiar with,” Gamba says. While her daughter does her online work, she is able to continue doing her own work, which is a win-win situation.
Her daughter also assists her with cleaning the house during the chore time. She loves that the home learning portal is allowing her daughter to have some kind of normalcy while she is at home.
“The resources provided for each subject are very useful because I can just print them and supervise her doing it,” she says. Not only is it helping her daughter to carry on with her school work, but Gamba is also benefitting from the home learning portal.
She also uses the activities listed in the Physical Education section to work out with her daughter.
“We played hopscotch for P.E and I also got in some exercise by doing it with her, with weights in my hands,” she says. Her advice to other parents is to schedule in their own activities while their child does schoolwork.
“We don’t stick to the exact times but we know what needs to happen in a day so even if we learn at night we do what we can. I am an essential worker and so is my husband so we take turns staying home and homeschooling,” she says.
At SPARK Schools learning will resume when the president reopens the schools.
Moodley says that when schools resume, learning will resume from where they left off on 18 March 2020.
Please share with us how the SPARK Home Learning Portal is helping you.