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SA homeschooling 'explosion': Deciding on the best option for your child

23 October 2021 10:22 AM
Tags:
Education
Homeschooling
weekend breakfast
Lockdown
online schooling
Optimi Learning
Stefan Botha
Impaq Online School
Optimi
Impaq

Amy MacIver talks to Optimi Learning's Stefan Botha about the difference between traditional homeschooling and online schooling.

- The Education Department says the number of learners enrolling in homeschooling has doubled in a year

- This is despite the fact that during the hard lockdown, many parents struggled when they were forced to homeschool

- Optimi Learning CEO Stefan Botha says the 'online schooling' model is growing and could be a better fit for some families


© newmanstudio/123rf.com

According to the Education Department, the number of learners enrolling in homeschooling in South Africa has doubled from 140,000 to 300,000 in one year.

This is despite the fact that many parents struggled when they were forced to homeschool to varying degrees during the hard lockdown.

Amy MacIver talks to Optimi Learning CEO Stefan Botha about the growing trend.

He says there's been "an explosion" of children using alternative learning methods.

Before the pandemic started we were by far the largest homeschooling provider in the country, but it was still a fairly small sector. The numbers at that time were about 1% of children in South Africa were doing homeschooling between Grades R and 12.

Stefan Botha, CEO - Optimi Learning

Since then it's completely exploded because of the pandemic, because of fears for our children's safety at school, the fact that many schools were closed... That has driven the growth...

Stefan Botha, CEO - Optimi Learning

Botha is a father of three who himself battled with juggling homeschooling and work commitments during the hard lockdown.

Because of these challenges he was involved in recently launching the Impaq Online School.

He looks at the different options now becoming available to parents.

We realised over time that there's a growing market for parents who want to see their kids go through a traditional school day but in an online or home environment, where teachers are running classes online and the kids are being fully engaged by an online teacher.

Stefan Botha, CEO - Optimi Learning

Homeschooling comes from a space where parents take ownership of the learner and the learning journey... but when people talk about it during the pandemic it probably refers to more... where there's a school that provides some form of structure or curriculum and the parents support that.

Stefan Botha, CEO - Optimi Learning

I think what everybody has learned over the past year is that it is a tough thing to do, so that's why there's been this growth of a new model called online schooling where you do schooling at home but it happens on an online platform like Zoom or Teams... It's like a virtual classroom.

Stefan Botha, CEO - Optimi Learning

In the homeschooling environment he's found that parents make an effort to provide their kids with socialising opportunities.

Botha advises those considering homeschooling to do thorough research into the available options.

Scroll to the top of the article to listen to audio of the interview




23 October 2021 10:22 AM
Tags:
Education
Homeschooling
weekend breakfast
Lockdown
online schooling
Optimi Learning
Stefan Botha
Impaq Online School
Optimi
Impaq

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