Nova Pioneer and their Foundation have partnered with the National Association of Change Entities in Education (NASCEE) to provide students from vulnerable communities with learning materials.
Press Release – Recognising that the majority of learners in our country do not have access to internet or smart devices and, as such, are losing valuable teaching time during the school closures and the nation-wide lockdown, Nova Pioneer and their Foundation have partnered with the National Association of Change Entities in Education (NASCEE) to provide learning material to children in vulnerable communities throughout South Africa.
Nova Pioneer’s materials have contributed to 10 000 printed learning packs distributed to 60 schools as part of the Amakhosi learning programme in KZN.
With COVID-19 continuing to impact people and countries around the world, families everywhere are learning to work remotely. The scale and speed of the shift has turned this into a new challenge for everyone, but especially learners, educators and schools who haven’t had the opportunity to invest heavily in remote-learning. This has been further compounded by the uncertainty surrounding the expected staggered return to school for lower grades.
Nova Pioneer co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Chinezi Chijioke says, “While our utmost priority remains the wellness of our employees, learners and families – at Nova Pioneer, we understand the gap this pandemic has created among families who do not have the resources to continue learning at home.”
He adds, “At Nova Pioneer our vision statement calls on us to earn the right to contribute beyond our campuses, to society. There is no more important time than now — as the world comes together to tackle the impact of Covid-19 — for us to find a way to do that.”
By making their innovative learning material available more broadly, the school group aims to support more students in continued learning during this unprecedented time.
Chinezi says, “We are fortunate as Nova Pioneer to have a skilled learning design team whose work provides us with one path to contributing. We are thankful for the opportunity to do so, and we hope by sharing our resources we can support the learning of more young developing leaders far and wide.”
The private school group also recently launched an online platform where non-Nova Pioneer families could access custom-designed and comprehensive weekly learning packs for their children (https://www.novapioneer.com/sa/learning/remote-learning/).
On the website, parents can find previous curriculum material available for Grades 000 to Grade 7. Parents will be able to download an initial grade-specific learning pack and will receive updated material every two weeks.
Nova Pioneer’s Chief Academic Officer (CAO), Rahel Wondwossen says the learning packs were specially designed and created in response to the school closure announcement on 15 March. The Nova Pioneer Academic and Learning Design teams worked creatively to find solutions to ensure learning for students continued remotely.
“We were able to respond as quickly as we did thanks to the work done by our Learning Design team. This team is responsible for designing and creating standardised curriculum, assessments, and lesson plans for all our schools – in Kenya and South Africa – and ensuring there is consistency in learning across all campuses and geographies. This is a unique offering available only to Nova Pioneer families,” Wondwossen explains.
“For the purpose of the school closures, the learning designers prepared at-home work packets for the primary schools’ families to follow the learning timetable at home that has accounted for academic learning time, creative work/art, and physical movement so that learners continue to have a holistic support plan,” she adds, “Additionally, parent-friendly lesson plans have been provided with each section of the timetable that also includes all needed materials and student work.”
According to Wondwossen, the virtual learning programme was created to replicate as much of the in-class experience as possible, with materials that have been both engaging and easily accessible to the majority of our students and their parents or caregivers.