Hands-on Learning Issue 18

Through our Hands-on Learning publication, we hope to play a helpful role in synthesising information from innovators and implementers in civil society, supporting them to share what they have learned so that others are able to draw from and build on their experiences.

Read below a short synopsis of what you can find in Hands-on Learning issue 18:

South Africa’s national COVID-19 lockdown forced us to reassess our homes as primary sites of learning. Many adults, however, felt ill-equipped to suddenly become their children’s educators. Rather than step back during the pandemic, many innovative non-profit organisations (NPOs) quickly stepped in to guide their beneficiaries through unchartered territory. In this learning brief, we look at how Thanda, Shine Literacy, Nal’ibali and the FunDza Literacy Trust adjusted their programmes to support learning at home during lockdown – and how they hope to build on this experience to sustain connections forged.

While public benefit organisations have long spoken out about the importance of bridging the ‘digital divide’, the COVID-19 pandemic revealed, more acutely than ever before, the impacts of unequal access to digital tools and connectivity. In this learning brief, two initiatives committed to keeping learners in school – the Zero Dropout Campaign and Public School Partnerships – share how they supported learners through the mandatory school closures, outlining key breakthroughs and barriers along the way.

More than eight months after the closure of South Africa’s early childhood development (ECD) programmes in March 2020, the ECD sector is likely to be operating at less than a quarter of its pre-lockdown levels. This makes it even more imperative that we work to achieve universal access to quality ECD services, but crucial shifts in our national system are needed. This learning brief explores how Kago Ya Bana (KYB), a social programme of the Hollard Foundation Trust, and SmartStart, a non-governmental organisation, are working to remove regulatory hurdles to scaling quality education.

Links for individual briefs:

How to restore — and maintain — the home as a site of learning (download pdf here or read here).

Against all odds — enabling distance learning in lower quintile schools (download pdf here or read here).

Breaking down the barriers to quality ECD (download pdf here or read here).

Download a pdf of the full learning brief here.