The Class of KC – Bringing teaching into homes during Covid-19 lockdown
9 July 2020
During May 2020, listeners to Radio KC in the Saron to Simondium catchment area (and those streaming from across the country and the world) were exposed to the Class of KC, a 30-minute slot during the morning show hosted by Bandile Xhosa.
Edgar Johannes, GET Coordinator for the Cape Winelands Education District, said the objective was to reach learners in Grades 4–7 who had no access to online activities during the lockdown period.
“Presenters, which included Subject Advisers and teachers in Afrikaans Home Language, English First Additional Language and Mathematics, had to develop 30-minute slots over 20 days focusing on learners’ academic needs and teaching them concepts which they may find difficult at school.”
The Mathematics Subject Adviser, Donovan Mackier, and his assistants, Fergus Steenberg (Rietenbosch Primary), Gracaire Titus (Klapmuts Primary) and Theresa van der Vyfer (Paarl Girls’ High), dealt with the importance of Mental Maths (flexible thinking in number sense), number concepts (getting to an estimated number faster), problem solving in Maths (incorporating language across the curriculum for teachers) and ratio. Lessons were conducted in Afrikaans on Mondays and English on Wednesdays.
The Language Subject Advisers, Joey Klaaste-Salmans and Elizabeth Hattingh, with the assistance of Lead Teachers Marisa de Klerk (Twee Jonge Gezellen Primary) and Merle Abrahams (Wellington Primary), focused on listening (the process, the challenges in class, what makes a good listener and tips for parents to enhance listening skills), speaking (preparing for orals, what the expectations are for learners, the pitfalls of public speaking and dealing with stage fright and the process of preparing for the prepared speech). Lessons focused on Afrikaans Home Language on Tuesdays and English First Additional Language on Thursdays.
To add more value to the programme, Gail Jacobs, the Director of Radio KC, invited Dennis von Willingh, former principal of New Orleans Secondary School, to engage with parents on Fridays to wrap up the week’s activities. Von Willingh highlighted some aspects of the week’s lessons and addressed parents directly on their role in the academic development of their children and how they could use the tips provided by the presenters to support their children at home during the lockdown and beyond.
The feedback received from the public was extremely positive. Parents, learners and teachers showed their appreciation for this initiative through the WhatsApp line and on Facebook Live during lessons. Some requested for this to become a permanent slot on the show.
Emile Abrahams, a teacher at Aan de Doorns Primary outside Worcester, commented, “The lessons have been very helpful in giving me some tips on how to address certain topics, and the examples that were used took the subject out of the classroom and into the real world”.
A photo tweeted by Mackier of Grade 7 learners at Pieter Langeveldt Primary in Stellenbosch sitting in their computer lab streaming the Maths lessons received a lot of responses on Twitter from leaders in the provincial education sphere. Brian Schreuder, Head of Education, said, “One thing that is coming out of global discourse is that post Covid-19 education will have greater blended learning approaches”.
During one particular slot the presenter went live on his Facebook page. A total of 250 viewers streamed the lesson and encouraging comments were received from the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia.