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Budget, Corona and Woman - news in education

BY: SGI|5 March 2020
BLOG| General Management, Deciding to study online, Short Course

Woman in education 

In 1901 Charlotte Manye Maxeke became the first black South African woman to obtain a degree. Her actions ushered in an African education revolution that will change the continent forever. By 2016 - 567,119 female students were attending higher education institutions in South Africa exceeding the male counterparts by 114,942.

A recent study published in 2020 by Dr Nic Spaull, and Hendrik van Broekhuizen, has shown that there are more females attending higher education institutions. These female students also score better than males on average and are more likely to complete their studies.

If we take into account that 95% of graduates are employed and the fact that graduates contribute 65% of the GDP it is clear that the future of South Africa depends on creating space for educated women to run the country. Women have always been the backbone of the South African economy, and in light of recent events, educated woman is South Africa's only hope. Men make space!

Women maintain the household, build a career and study at the same time. For that reason, online education is now more critical than ever before as it allows students to study tailor-made programmes to advance their career as well as creating the flexibility to study at any time - without breaking the bank.

Corona (Covid-19) virus

The corona-virus outbreak from Wuhan, China surfaced late December 2019. Internationally the virus has spread to over 60 countries with over 80 000 confirmed infections and more than 2900 deaths worldwide. Everyone is saying that this will be a pandemic and that it is likely to be around for an extended period. 

In Australia the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer advised all citizens who have visited mainland China, returning to Australia to stay at home and avoid public areas, including schools, Universities and their place of work. There is also talk of significant events such as the Olympics and other major gatherings of being cancelled as it creates distribution points for viral infection. 

Authorities in Italy imposed a strict quarantine in two northern regions due to the high number of corona-virus outbreaks. Almost 50 000 people cannot enter or leave these areas for at least two weeks. Businesses and education centres were closed down in and around the regions leaving many people without work and education.

Can this happen in South Africa as well?

With the virus rapidly spreading across the globe, people are warned to stay away from densely populated areas and to stay at home to prevent further spread of the virus.

A challenge is that students are increasingly concerned that extended periods of being sick will affect their academic performance as the virus typically has 14 days in which a person needs to stay at home. 

The best possible solution would be to study online as it holds all the benefits of education without the risk of being infected by this deadly virus.

Budget Speech

In the State of the Nation Address, President Ramaphosa stated that "We are building nine new TVET college campuses this year", while in the Budget Speech Finance Minister Tito Mboweni mentioned that the Treasury plans to cut government's spending by across the board by R261bn over the next three years. Education will be among the most significant casualties, with an R7.1bn cut to its baseline over the medium term. The Treasury has slashed R2.3bn from the infrastructure allocation to TVET colleges, and R621m from university infrastructure. So while we are spending significantly on education this year, it also seems that the sector has to challenge itself to be more efficient. Did you know that many countries have moved away from governments funding higher education? In the US more than 1.5% of GDP, which represents almost 20% of higher education is now spent on private higher education, and this trend is predicted to expand massively over the next decade as fewer countries can afford to maintain their public education systems. 

Africa's education needs to go online

Another interesting fact is that the World Bank stated that 97% of all eligible youth in Africa as defined by the Sustainable Development Goals - are now in education, up from less than 80% in the year 2000. The groundswell of youth that is entering and coming out of the system means that there is a massive group of people that will be expecting to complete work-relevant education in a post-school setting within the next ten years. Online education seems to be one of the few options that will be able to scale to the extent required to fulfill this growing need for job-relevant management education

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