Covid-19 school closure: Enko Education implements distance learning in all its schools across Africa
Johannesburg, March 26th, 2020 – To cope with the closure of its 15 international African schools and ensure continuity in education, Enko Education has implemented, in a few days, distance learning for all its students.
In March 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic affecting the whole world, all the Enko Education schools have closed their doors, for a period still uncertain.
The group reacted immediately to the situation. “From the start of the pandemic, before it reached Africa, we created a Covid-19 taskforce to anticipate all scenarios. This taskforce sets guidelines for our schools, and gives them the support they need to put them in place.” explains Eric Pignot, Founder and CEO of Enko Education. The first priority decided by the taskforce was the implementation of a solid distance learning plan, in order to ensure continuity of education despite the circumstances. Enko Education thus pursues its mission of delivering quality international education to students across the continent.
“Before governments issued closing orders, all teachers in the network received training on how to use distance learning tools such as Zoom and Google Classrooms,” explains Ariane Baer-Harper, Director of Enko Education in Senegal and in charge of the Covid-19 taskforce for the group. She continues: “Each teacher has created a distance learning schedule for each of their classes, shared with parents and students.”
Since then, online courses have started: teachers are making resources and exercises available on the Google Classrooms platform, and online classes are given via Zoom. “On the platform, we can communicate with our teachers, who are always available to answer our questions.” says Abdoul Madjid, student at Enko Ouaga Campus, in Burkina Faso.
“For students who don’t have Internet at home, we have printed booklets with all the resources and homework, and other communication channels between the school and the family have been identified.” explains Radha Pillay, director of Amazing Grace Private School in South Africa.
A monitoring system was set up: teachers have daily interactions with their Head of School, and share weekly reports of the work carried out and the lesson plans for the coming weeks. Students’ attendance is taken for the lessons on Zoom, and teachers track that homework is sent on time. If necessary, parents are contacted.
Because they follow international programs, such as the International Baccalaureate, Enko students are particularly able to adapt to these teaching methods. Enko students are in fact continually encouraged to work independently and develop research skills that prove particularly useful for distance learning.
Response from parents and students has been overwhelmingly positive. “I very much appreciate and thank this initiative from our school, and encourage it to continue with its innovative ideas!” shares a student from Enko Ouaga Campus. “All my encouragement to the school for their proactivity in setting up virtual lessons. I surveyed schools of the same standing in Yaoundé, and did not find one that provides live online lessons! ” adds a parent of Enko La Gaieté Campus in Cameroon.