Saturday, October 24, 2020

St Joseph’s Theological Institute receives much needed router donation for continued learning


Lack of access to Internet and data continues to severely disrupt the education of many SA
students. While physical campuses of higher education may open under current
regulations, social distancing requirements create practical space constraints for many
institutions, and not all students can come back to class. Students may also have to
self-isolate at home for weeks at a time due to Covid-19 infection or possible exposure. It is
likely that the shift to online education will continue to play an important role in continuity for quite some time.

SACAP (South African College of Applied Psychology) has been one of the country’s few
higher education institutions which was able to rapidly shift all of its students, across four
physical campuses, to its online platform. It was an advantage that its online campus was
already well-developed and that they have a core of highly experienced online educators
who are able to help upskill others. Given that hundreds of students were without the
resources to connect from their homes during hard lockdown, SACAP implemented a
countrywide router and data solution to ensure that these students did not get left behind,
and the project to date has been a great success.

For St Joseph’s Theological Institute, based outside of Hilton in KwaZulu-Natal, continuity of
education has been an ongoing problem. Even as lockdown regulations eased they still had
200 students in need of support in order to continue their studies. SACAP has made a
donation of 200 routers to St Joseph’s, while other donors have provided a data solution, so
that these students can now be reliably connected to their educators and campus. St
Joseph’s provides certificate, diploma and degree education programmes across social
development, philosophy and theology fields.

“In light of the challenges brought on by COVID-19 and the disruption of contact learning, St
Joseph’s Theological Institute had to implement an online teaching and learning solution,”
says Brother John Mhlanga. “Ongoing connectivity challenges means that students have
been losing out on valuable learning time and content. We are sincerely grateful to SACAP
for agreeing to donate routers to assist our students and staff.”

Zerina Royeppen, SACAP’s Managing Director says, “We know what it is like to suddenly
have to move your students online and how disruptive the crisis has been to all educational
institutions. We share the goal of wanting to do the very best we can for our students,
especially in a time of crisis. We wanted to respond to St Joseph’s as a fellow provider of
higher education, and make a contribution which helps to build the resilience of their
students, educators and institution in the face of ongoing pandemic challenges.”

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