Responding to media reports that the Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa (ISASA) has recommended that private schools push their opening date from 12 January to 18 January, the Inspired Education Group has announced that it will be reopening on 13 January as planned, offering a hybrid education model that enables parents to opt for either virtual or on-campus learning. Inspired Education is a global group with over 60 schools across five continents and is the parent company of Reddam House and Reddford House in South Africa.
CEO of Inspired Education in South Africa, Ravi Nadasen, comments, “The announcement by ISASA is a recommendation to private schools, based on the possibility that there may be further announcements on 15 January when President Ramaphosa addresses the nation. We are in the fortunate position to have the freedom to determine the manner and methods in which to support our students’ safe return to school, and we have elected to offer parents and students the choice made possible by our hybrid approach. This model enables us to effectively switch back to online learning as and when required to do so.
“This is an interim solution to offer flexibility for those parents who are not comfortable sending their children back to school currently, or to isolate for a period if they have been away on holiday, which ensures their child’s education continues uninterrupted. We will review this again based on the President’s next address expected around the 15th of January, and in line with any changes in government policy.”
COVID protocols will be stringently adhered to and all staff will be retrained to ensure heightened awareness of safety protocols, including mask wearing, social distancing, hand washing and sanitising, reduced campus access, regular classroom cleaning, and morning temperature checks on arrival.
Nadasen reiterates, “Virtual learning that allows for live interaction with teachers is the next best thing to being in a classroom. It is fundamental for all children to maintain consistency in learning so they can make important progress and achieve their full potential. Furthermore, the research is clear that attending school every day, for every lesson, makes a significant difference to outcomes and achievement.”
Online learning at Inspired schools will replicate the normal school day and hours, as well as the curriculum, ensuring that no school days will be lost. In line with government’s directive on gatherings, all school events such as parent information evenings and orientation days will be held virtually.
“Our priority remains continued support to our students in their education. We will continue to monitor the situation closely, guided by the Department of Education and ISASA,” concludes Nadasen.