Rural online learning in the context of COVID 19 in South Africa: Evoking an inclusive education approach


  • Bekithemba Dube University of the Free State



COVID 19, Rurality, South Africa


This paper discusses the challenges faced by rural learners in South Africa in the context of the world pandemic commonly known as COVID-19. Rural learners face unprecedented challenges in adjusting to a new mode of life and learning, the latter being characterised by the predominant use of online, learning management systems and low-tech applications. The paper is informed by critical emancipatory research, I used participatory action research. A total of 10 learners and five teachers participated via Whatsapp. The paper answers two questions: what are the learning challenges faced by rural learners in South Africa, and how can online learning be enhanced in the context of COVID-19? The findings suggest that, while the South African government is promoting online learning as the only alternative in the context of COVID-19, this mode excludes many rural learners from teaching and learning, due to a lack of resources to connect to the internet, the learning management system, and low-tech software. The paper argues that rural learners are critical stakeholders in education and in the fight against COVID-19, and they cannot be left behind in efforts to fight the pandemic. 

Author Biography

Bekithemba Dube, University of the Free State

Head: Foundation and Intermediate Phase


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How to Cite

Dube, B. (2020). Rural online learning in the context of COVID 19 in South Africa: Evoking an inclusive education approach. Multidisciplinary Journal of Educational Research, 10(2), 135–157.