When schools started reopening after level five of lockdown, the advantages of investing in a good institution for your child were clear. Pupils with access to comprehensive study packs and supportive teachers, and particularly those with online tools and lessons, were able to progress without many problems.
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Lebogang Montjane, executive director of the Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa, says the only real difference at their 850 schools was that learning had been happening in virtual classrooms instead of at the school. “Teachers have been interacting with students electronically by SMS and various apps, including WhatsApp. There’s a combination of live lessons and work that must be submitted electronically, which is issued to learners by teachers. The only thing our schools are not offering is sport.”
Contrast that with most township and rural schools, where with many lacking adequate desks and toilets, let alone digital tools, pupils were left largely to their own devices, and with a few stellar exceptions, learning ground to a halt.
But, how much do you need to save to afford a good school for your child – and how best can you do this?
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WEIGHING IN ON EDUCATION COSTS
First, keep in mind that a good school is not necessarily a private or independentone. As Dr Heather Jacklin, retired senior lecturer at the University of Cape Town (UCT) School of Education, has put it: “The real distinction is not between different education systems, but between those schools that can and cannot meet the criteria of good education.”