Governmental body, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), has published yet another set of results based on a survey filled in by South Africans, this time focusing on mobility, migration and education in the country during lockdown.

The full publication has a rather lengthy title – “Report-00-08-04 – Social impact of COVID-19 (Wave 3): Mobility, Migration, and Education, July 2020” and can be read in its entirety in this PDF.

The education side of things is particularly interesting. As expected a vast majority (72.9 percent) of respondents with children in their households report that they have had to move to home schooling during lockdown.

This has applied to learners in both private schools (83.5 percent) and public schools (67.1 percent). We have to imagine that the difference between the two is due to greater access to resources for the better funded private schools and its students.

Access to electronics and data is always a large factor. Looking at how these students received materials and conducted studies from their schools, only 34.6 percent reported using special online learning tools. The majority (51.3 percent) instead received educational material from the schools on platforms such as WhatsApp and email.

Image – Stats SA

The use of technology in learning was also covered in the survey. Access to various types of tech for education, as broken down by percentage access, is as follows:

  • Smartphone – 75.9 percent
  • Laptop – 61.2 percent
  • Television – 53.3 percent
  • Tablet – 36.1 percent
  • Radio – 27.9 percent

While smartphones beating out TV may be a surprise, this does not necessarily mean more phones in each household. This is because the survey also accounted for the sharing of devices.

“Four-tenths of respondents who had access to a smart phone for home learning had to share their devices with others from time to time, while 23,8% had to continuously share their smart phones. By comparison, 36,1% of smart phone users did not have to share their devices,” reads the survey results.

While looking at these results it’s important to remember that they do not account for the entirety of the country, but instead show a representation of it. Only 1 323 people were surveyed between 17th June and 4th July. The fast-moving nature of COVID-19 and the lockdown situation in the country means that these results may not be the best reflection of reality right now.

With public schools recently being forced to shutter again, home and online education may become even more widespread.

The key findings from this latest survey can also be read on the Stats SA site.

[Image – Mohamed Hassan on Pixabay]