Virtual and online classes offer great alternatives to learning amid the Coronavirus outbreak

Virtual and online classes offer great alternatives to learning amid the Coronavirus outbreak

Chief Executive Officer of Distance Education company Brainline, Coleen Cronje, looks at how virtual and online classes could be the future, following the Coronavirus outbreak that has interrupted learning at some schools in South Africa and other parts of the world.

Coronavirus positive blood test
Coronavirus positive blood test/ iStock

South Africa reported its first case of the Coronavirus on Thursday, 5 March. 

A 38-year-old male, who recently travelled with his wife to Italy, returned to South Africa on Sunday and tested positive. 

READ: Coronavirus: South Africa confirms first case of COVID-19

The man returned with his wife and eight other people, however, upon landing, he did not show any symptoms of the virus. 

It was only days later that he complained of fever, headache, malaise, a sore throat, and a cough. After visiting his doctor, tests confirmed that he had the virus. 

The man and his doctor have been in isolation since. 

One of the ways that coronavirus spreads is through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Thus, people are advised to keep a distance from sick people (social distancing). 

The school the infected man's child attends, Cowan House, announced that it would be closed on Friday due to fears that the learner could have been infected by his dad. 

READ: Coronavirus: Hilton school shut fears of COVID-19, officials descend

Cowan House is not the only school that has been shut down following the Coronavirus outbreak. 

Italy has closed all of its schools and universities. Saudi Arabia, Japan, and Hong Kong have also closed their schools. 

READ: Millions out of school as WHO calls for stronger virus response

Chief Executive Officer of Distance Educator, Brainline, Coleen Cronje, says the South African government needs to look at how it will deal with the Coronavirus outbreak if it continues to spread and affects learning in the country. 

"Government has given the assurance that it is on top of the situation, however, it would be advisable to look at measures by other countries to curb the scourge. As the virus has spread, other countries have implemented extraordinary measures with around 13 countries closing their schools and universities, highlighting possible measures that may be taken locally," Cronje said in a press release. 

"Schools will now have to break down the invisible walls of learning and traditional classrooms to make way for new technology," Cronje concluded.

READ: Understanding how homeschooling works

Image courtesy of iStock/ Samara Heisz

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