Super Schools: Apex High School educates on just 25MB per day

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
The Apex High School in Eersterivier.
The Apex High School in Eersterivier.

Apex High School, a no-fee, dual-medium school in Eerste River, Cape Town, that partnered with Acorn Education, a non-profit organisation, proactively tackled concerns around ways to keep their pupils connected and motivated to learn from home.

When the extended school closures were announced, the school initially determined that Facebook would work best to continue teaching as it required the lowest data usage and was already the most used platform in their community. 

READ | Saving this academic year means saving the whole generation – Motshekga

On 31 March, Apex Virtual High School launched via Facebook groups. The school operated on an eight hours a day, four day week learning schedule and used the same format as in-person lessons. To keep pupils engaged in this new virtual classroom, the lessons integrated Facebook features like polls, short videos and photos. 

The decision to teach online showed positive results with 100% teacher participation and more than 80% pupil attendance. 

To solve the challenge of devices, Apex conducted a survey to determine what devices pupils had available at home. The survey showed that 90% of households had a device that a pupil could use. For those families that did not have access to a device, the team identified suitable low-cost smartphones at a cost of R290 and provided them on loan. The school found a way to push data to each pupil every morning and to dramatically reduce data usage to just three megabytes per lesson, educating pupils for a week with the same amount of data that would typically be used for a one-hour Zoom meeting.

The team had now moved daily lessons from Facebook to an online learning platform to substantially reduce their remaining data cost by taking advantage of the zero-rating of education websites, and ultimately reduce their data cost to zero if all telecommunication companies came on board. Their efforts meant very few learning hours were lost and that their pupils were still on track with the year's curriculum.

In living out their motto to do "whatever it takes", Apex High had shown what one committed team can do to support pupils in the country when a positive mindset, persistence, and willingness to work together were involved.

Apex High School

Pupils from the Apex High School in Eerste River take part in the Jerusalema Dance Challenge during lockdown. (Screengrab)

Vote for Apex High School: Vote

See all the finalists

Let Parent24 keep you up to date with all the latest information and resources to help your child excel in school. Sign up for Bright Spark, a weekly newsletter.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
A Section 89 panel headed by former chief justice Sandile Ngcobo found President Cyril Ramaphosa has an impeachable case to answer on the Phala Phala scandal.
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Ramaphosa should do the honourable thing and immediately resign.
25% - 685 votes
Ramaphosa should follow due process and submit himself to an impeachment hearing.
32% - 876 votes
Ramaphosa should fight the findings in court and keep his job at all costs
44% - 1202 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.