Heroes in the making
Saving the academic year: One of the universal consequences of COVID-19 has been major disruptions to the academic year. Students are grappling with a whole host of new challenges and need all the help they can get to continue to the next grade in 2021.
The Answer Series (TAS) is committed to helping learners navigate this unchartered territory and saving the academic year. TAS CEO George Eadie explains, “We want to empower students to transform from feeling like victims to owning their experience and becoming everyday heroes that future generations will aspire to be like.”
So, what does owning the process actually mean?
Most learners wait for their teacher to tell them what to do next and find it stressful when they don’t have this constant support. But the current reality means they need to adapt and be proactive in order to succeed.
The first step is all about perspective – to shift from dwelling on why we are where we are, to how we can create a better future.
In a video chat with Eadie, Ntsika Dantile, a grade 12 learner from Kraaifontein who has been using TAS study guides for four years explains how he has done just that: “When lockdown started I was very nervous; I didn’t know how I was going to do this… but I decided I was going to teach myself. I owe it to my parents and need to set an example for my siblings. Studying is something that you need discipline for. If you believe in yourself then other people will believe in you. I can now write a test at any time – I am ready now”.
This is particularly applicable to Grade 12 learners with their matric exams looming. Eadie recommends that learners, “see where they are right now as a trial, without the consequences of writing an exam tomorrow, to build a winning formula for matric success.”
TAS study guides can help save the academic year, as each one is carefully compiled by teachers who have an understanding of how learners consume information. They feature assignments and quizzes to ensure that learners have a full understanding of the information they are reading.
In his latest book Future How, Face The Covid Reset: Embrace the Unknown, South African speaker and author John Sanei focuses on how to bring about a calm state of mind daily, build resilience and agility, and move into the future with positivity and clarity of self. He says, “Don’t be afraid to start over again; you may like your new story better.”
This is a powerful statement, and one of the ways students can create and embrace the new normal. They also need to make better use of resources available to them, whether it’s material provided by schools, online or through study guides.
All digital versions of TAS’ study guides are half price for students during lockdown, and free for teachers. Eadie explains, “Making our study guides more affordable is part of our strategy to empower learners; however, we are also aware that approximately 70% of South African learners don’t have access to the internet, so we are relieved that level 4 allows for the sale of educational books.” TAS study guides are available at CNA, PNA, Bargain Books and a number of independent bookstores.
Closing on a positive note, Eadie explains “if learners make the right decisions now, there is plenty of time to end the year on a high note.”