Sanlam Corporate is pleased to announce the adding of the IVY Online education platform to our menu of value-added loyalty benefits and services.  Michele Jennings, in her presentation to the Benchmark Symposium audience highlighted that Reality Access for Sanlam Group Risk (SGR), which is an integrated offering and not a separate paid-for loyalty benefit, is a perfect example of where we strive for balance between human connection and digital interactions.  

In her recent article on the long-term impact of Covid-19 on education. Nathea Nicolay (Product Owner at Sanlam Reality) highlighted the findings from the latest National Income Dynamics Study – Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (NIDS-CRAM) research on key outcomes of the Covid-19 crisis in South Africa, which uncovered devastating learning losses: 

  • Primary school children lost 60% of the possible 198 school days due to school closures and rotational timetables. 
  • In the no-fee schools surveyed, children learnt 50%-75% less in 2020 than a normal year. 

“Education is a cumulative process and so the impact on the learning trajectory of these children is likely to be felt for years to come.  Some suggest South Africa will only be able to get back to pre-pandemic learning outcomes by 2030”, she concluded.  

She further highlighted research conducted by Sanlam regarding the current use of online education:

  • 52% of its members had school-going children of whom 93% used online education during lockdown compared to 23% before the lockdown;
  • A quarter (1/4) of these students used full online replacement schooling with three quarters (3/4) using supplementary online education to aid their learning;
  • 46% of the learners that used online schooling during the lockdown period for schools said that they will continue to use these digital platforms after returning to school with around 50% of the learners saying that they are willing to pay for this service.

Because education forms a major expense in every household with school-going children, Sanlam has entered into a partnership with Boston Connect that hosts Ivy Online, an online education content provider to support SGR members.  Through this partnership, Sanlam Reality (the administrator of the Reality Access for SGR loyalty programme) now offers free online supplementary education, as well as discounted replacement schooling from June 2021.

Free content is available to SGR members and their learners for grades 8 to 12 on the CAPS curriculum.  In addition to the CAPS curricula (SA’s main national schooling curriculum). To use the information on the platform (e.g. free e-books, videos, podcasts and quizzes), a learner is required to have internet connectivity and access to a smart device or PC. Learners can access the internet through connected homes, schools, libraries, in community internet or wi-fi hotspots and by purchasing data.  

Learners often struggle to follow discussions on digital tools like Google Classroom and get lost in the universe of online education content providers.  Through an easily accessible but comprehensive online education platform, learners can be supported in any pandemic.  One of the main benefits of this online education platform is that the learner’s progress is tracked, and the parent and learners receive reports and tips on improvement in performance.  Learners who are studying towards the SA National Senior Certificate can also use the Replacement Schooling model, which includes discounted tutor support –  should learners qualify for Replacement Schooling through Ivy Academy, they will receive support from qualified teachers in order to complete formal assessments and matriculate successfully. Ivy Online also offers the Cambridge International curricula (the Cambridge curriculum for junior high is available under a similar discounted tutor model).

In summary, Nathea noted that it is clear that parents and learners cannot rely on the public education system alone to address the intermittent access to education due to these global educational disruptions. In addition, the lack of connectivity and infrastructure at public schools in SA exacerbates their impact on learning.  She believes many parents and learners will benefit and use online education to support their schooling where possible.

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