Distance education has and continues to play an essential role in educational access. It is characterized as teaching and learning via technology, where the students and instructor are not in the same space and time during learning. The integration of technology provides the mechanisms to facilitate interaction between the students and the professor, and the learning infrastructure. Whatever the methodology, distance education is a mode of delivery that ensures access to education to those not able to attend traditional education venues, or denied access based on social or ethnic status. Distance Education in South Africa, An analysis of access is an analysis of the challenges of accessibility overshadowed by the veil of Apartheid. The methodology involved an extensive historical overview of pre- and post-Apartheid, and a review of the concept and practice of distance education.
Distance Education Challenges
South Africa established the first distance learning university, and known as the largest distance learning provider, albeit with challenges to access, such as:
lack of government regulations and policies,
language barriers that restrict or limit student access,
access to print and learning resources,
quality of programs challenged by growth and,
lack of resources to compete with other universities and organizations to retain and matriculate students,
challenges integrating and sustaining innovative technology/ computers, internet connectivity,
The changes and continuities in South Africa's educational landscape produced both negative and positive effects (Jansen, 2004), to student retention and access. The challenges listed above create trickled down effects to educational sustainability...
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Aderinoye, R., Siaciwena, R. & Wright, C. R. (2009). Regional focus issue editorial: A snapshot of distance education in Africa. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 10(4). Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/764/1350
Fuegen, S. H. (2012) The impact of mobile technologies on distance education. TechTrends, 56(6), 49-
Jansen, J. D. (2004) Changes and continuities in South Africa’s higher education system, 1994 –
2004. In Linda Chisholm (Ed.) Changing class: Education and social change in post-
Apartheid South Africa. Cape Town, South Africa: HSRC Press, 293 - 314.
Schwartz, L. M. (2004). Advanced accessibility features for inclusive distance education. International Review of Research in Open & Distance Learning, 5(3). Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/content/v5.3/technote1.html
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