Reference: Published by Staff Writer (BusinessTech), 2 July 2023
A few well-known online colleges in South Africa have closed due to “lack of support” and worries about quality.
Online schools’ problems have been made worse by a declaration by Umalusi, a national exam quality assurance organization, which claimed that it had not accredited any online schools in South Africa.
According to the Sunday Times, the prestigious online school founded by St. Stithians collapsed in June due to a lack of support, and the South African Comprehensive Assessment Institute (Sacai) has opted not to register Cape Town’s SEAT Academy because it did not provide the required exams.
The country’s proliferation of online schools, according to Valenture Institute, a partner of the online school with St. Stithians, is having a negative impact on the newer types of schools. In the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, many parents have also chosen to return to traditional education.
Additionally, according to the Sunday Times, two online schools in KwaZulu-Natal sent matric students fake registration letters and gave grade 12 students obsolete exam materials for their final exams the year before, which led to their closure.
Umalusi was motivated by this to issue a statement alerting the public to the emergence of “bogus” schools that were defrauding parents by using false credentials.
Umalusi stated that it was collaborating with SAPS to crack down on institutions that were giving students phony registration letters that bore the Umalusi emblem but were actually forgeries.
Umalusi said that it had not accredited any domestic online universities.
This created a commotion among those with an interest in the nation’s online education sector, and several schools were forced to publish statements to dispel the misunderstanding and doubts expressed about online qualifications.
Online college Brainline claims that Umalusi’s marketing has produced confusion, particularly with the statement that no online schools have received accreditation, which raises questions about the standard and validity of online degrees in general.
The institution explained that its courses had credibility because of its registration with the IEB, which is registered with Umalusi. The National Senior Certificate is accredited by the private assessor SACAI under license from Umalusi, according to the University of Cape Town’s Online School.
39 distant education providers were registered with Sacai, according to CEO Keith Maseko, to administer the matric exams. Nine online schools and one distance learning provider have registered with the Independent Examinations Board (IEB), according to Confidence Dikgole, CEO of the IEB.
Speaking on behalf of Umalusi, Biki Lepota acknowledged that Sacai and the IEB are accredited assessors and that their online schools are authorized to administer exams and conduct assessments.
Due to the rise of these schools during the Covid-19 outbreak, there has recently been debate concerning the registration and legitimacy of online schools in South Africa. Unfortunately, Umalusi is correct in pointing out that there has been an upsurge in fraudulent activities because there isn’t a solid structure to oversee these institutions.
Despite this, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga stated in January 2022 that her department was creating a new framework to assist in regulating the growth of online schools in South Africa. She also stated at the time that the government had already created the draft framework for the establishment of both online private and public schools.