CNA invites you to the virtual launch of ‘Learning Under Lockdown’ on September 3 at 6pm
‘Learning Under Lockdown: Voices of SA’s Children’ is a collection of 400 essays compiled by Jonathan Jansen and Emily O’Ryan
The devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been felt across the globe since January this year, but the disruption it has caused has been especially evident in the field of education.
“Honestly, all I really yearn for is for structure. I miss having the seven-hour school day with two breaks in between.”
“At the beginning of lockdown we were excited! Just think about it: you wake up later than usual, you don’t have to dress in school uniform and don’t have to worry about how your hair looks, because nobody will see it. But through all these feelings came sadness. The thought of knowing that I won’t be able to meet up with my friends, hear the class clown create a hilarious scene, or listen to the teachers demanding to know why homework was not done — this really made me realise how much I have missed going to school.”
These are some of the responses in Learning Under Lockdown, a collection of about 400 essays selected from 640 submissions from learners around the country. Renowned educator professor Jonathan Jansen and Fulbright Scholarship winner Emily O’Ryan of Stellenbosch University compiled the book when they realised that — worldwide — no-one was asking learners how they were coping in this extraordinary time.
Faced with the fear of the unknown — as well as isolation from peers and teachers, cancelled extramural activities and disappointment about lost milestones of the school year (the matric dance, in particular) — almost all of the learners nevertheless write of their determination to keep being educated. The essays reveal something unshakeably positive about them: the depth of their resilience, patience and perseverance.
It’s fitting that CNA, a brand with a long and dependable heritage, should have chosen this to be the first title it has published in 50 years. Education, and the means to promote and encourage it among teachers and learners alike, is part of its commitment to the next generation of South Africans.
Date: Thursday, Sept 3 2020
This article was paid for by CNA.