Why the big switch to online schooling is here to stay

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Parents want to see their children happy and thriving, but the pandemic brought about major challenges for the current generation of young people. Children have had to face disrupted schooling, anxiety and stress, and missing out on just being fun-loving, carefree kids. 

One of the unexpected benefits of the situation, however, has been the rise of online schooling. Online schools carried on without disruption and kept kids safe from the virus, but most reassuringly, children could feel safe, stable and happy at school again.

Teneo, Africa’s number one online school, has provided steady online education, fun social interaction and extracurricular activities such as choir, chess and even versions of MasterChef and SharkTank to its 8 500 learners over the past year. Interestingly, most pupils switched from physical South African schools and live in all corners of the country, but they are in good company among many expat pupils living in places like China, Dubai or Kenya, who are benefitting from the various curricula on offer.  

Founded before the pandemic in 2018, Teneo is South Africa’s first online school for grade R to matric to offer live (synchronous), structured online teaching. Teneo offers the South African (CAPS), Independent (IEB) and British International (Pearson Edexcel) curricula, providing its learners with the ideal foundation to study both in South Africa and abroad. 

In addition, Teneo promotes various future-focused subjects, skills, and interests, develops children’s entrepreneurial and lateral thinking, and provides opportunities for healthy online socialising. Ingrained into all Teneo Online School’s pupils are their modern-day ethos and values – pupils understand the importance of “digital kindness” and becoming a responsible online citizen, which is essential considering how the workforce is changing. 

Online school encourages diverse ways of learning 

Online school erases geographical and class divides, enabling children to make friends across the world in a safe, nurturing setting. It also caters for children with different learning preferences and needs, because we know that what works for one student is not necessarily what works for others. 

Online schooling is adaptable to each learner, who can learn in a way best suited to their specific needs. Visual learners, auditory learners, kinaesthetic learners, faster learners, slower learners, learners with ADHD and learners across the spectrum, are all able to utilise whichever settings  best benefit them — and the teachers encourage this. 

In addition, the school has witnessed a significant number of previously bullied children thrive within this environment. 

Why online school is the best choice for today’s children 

The current traditional South African school system is based on the Victorian-era model of rote learning and is not yet embracing modern education methods tailored for the new digital future of work. 

The Victorian education system was developed for the era of industrialisation and a society that enforced strict class hierarchies. Only the privileged few were taught to read or write. Very few were lucky enough to attend posh schools. Children were placed in rows, told to sit still, and memorise a single, standardised curriculum of subjects that were appropriate for the economic system of the time. 

But the world has changed, and with speed over the past two years. School as we knew it as children is no longer adequate or appropriate for today’s children and today’s world. 

The pandemic brought about an irreversible shift towards online, remote work. Contract and project-based work is becoming the norm within the growing gig economy. 

Today’s children need to prepare for a future of work where critical thinking and problem solving, computational thinking, design thinking, agility and flexibility, collaboration skills, as well as emotional, social, and cultural intelligence, will be vital. Beyond digital literacy, the digital citizens of tomorrow will need to be socially responsible, kind, considerate and entrepreneurial. Online school prepares them for it all.

Want to know how it works? To watch a day in the life of a Teneo student, click here. 

Kids and parents love Teneo 

“I am so pleased with Teneo, it was such a good decision to enrol our kids at Teneo. The education is of a high standard and the tech support is very helpful. My children enjoy school and think highly of their teachers.” — Anel Seifert

“Teneo, you are fabulous. My daughter started this year and wow! She has improved so much. She was getting (marks in the) 40s and 50s, now (it’s) between 60s and 80s; that’s a major jump. She has so much more confidence in herself and her work. All I can say is thank you, thank you. All the teachers are the bomb. Thanks.” — Debra Fürstenburg

“It’s not just all work. Friends in classes form social groups with healthy child interactions. They have a lot of fun with play-learning activities. I find their methods and quality far better than contact school.” — Heleen Nell 

“When we moved from Cape Town to Johannesburg, I didn’t feel like starting over at a new school, so I asked if I could try online schooling instead. I’m glad I started before Covid-19… I was better off during lockdown, and I’m better prepared for the world of work. A lot of people think it can be lonely or that there is less support, but we have WhatsApp groups where we can chat to each other and other apps where we can compare notes and study together. My classmates are from all over the world – there’s a girl from Dubai and one is from America. I feel like I am more prepared for the future than other people … because I’m already used to working remotely.” — Donicia Hoskin, Grade 12

Enrolments for 2022 are open. 

Find out more about Teneo Online School at www.teneoschool.co.za 

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