Faizel Patel – 09/09/2020
The Basic Education Department has launched a one-stop digital solution for teachers and learners in South Africa, which will assist the phased-in reopening of all public schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The TeacherConnect app used via WhatsApp messaging, is an innovation of the Basic Education Department in partnership with the Community and Individual Development Association and the Maharishi Invincibility Institute.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says the TeacherConnect app aligns with the Health Department’s protocol on screening, testing and linkage to care and also puts non-pharmaceutical measures firmly in the hands of our teachers, non-teaching staff, parents, and learners.
Speaking to Radio Islam, Deputy Director General for Business Intelligence Shiloh Naiken says WhatsApp was the most popular platform to launch the TeacherConnect app.
“We developed a solution on the WhatsApp platform that will allow anyone that is in the education sector to so a self-screening health check. So this is a risk based assessment, goes through a series of about 12 questions and then pops out an answer for you whether you are high, medium or low risk.”
Naiken says the App which is free to use also provides guidance and advice on what to do if you are either high or low risk.
To use the app, users must log into the platform and answer a few simple questions relating to COVID-19 symptoms and risks. Teachers and the whole school community are required to do the health check daily.
To access the app, Teachers, Parents and Learners can save the Teacher Connect App on +27 060 060 3333 to conduct a health check. The data will enable the department to track and monitor potential cases
Upon completion, the app makes suggestions based on National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and department of health guidelines, namely to self-isolate, test for COVID-19 or seek emergency care.
Listen to the interview with Shiloh Naiken