Curro online school promises tough security measures

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Jay Paul, Curro online business manager.
Jay Paul, Curro online business manager.

Curro, SA’s largest private education group, has allayed fears of potential e-learning security risks, saying its online learning system is secure.

The private school group, which on Friday launched its first online school to allow pupils to attend virtual classes, says it will protect learners.

The school gives children access to class-time with qualified teachers amid the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

While e-learning has taken off during lockdown, it has raised a lot of privacy and child protection concerns. Cyber security issues are particularly sensitive in the context of education, where officials must also contend with the rights of children and privacy laws.

“Our online learning systems are highly secure and we use platforms that are used by elite education institutions globally,” says Curro online business manager Jay Paul. “We also have a dedicated IT team that manages security on the platform to manage such threats.”

He notes Curro enables interactive online lessons, provided by a teacher according to a set timetable, that a learner can join between 8am and 2pm.

“The teachers will introduce the online content that the learners must go through within the lesson period. The content includes video material, recorded lessons and other interactive assignments.”

Elaborating on the motivation behind the new online school, Paul says: “We’ve identified a need among parents who are struggling to juggle home-schooling with their own work, or are looking for an online programme that will still give their children access to class-time with qualified teachers.

“During this time, many parents are also concerned about sending their children back to school, especially those with immune-compromised family members living in the same household. Curro Online is a response to all these pressing needs.”

Curro says as the impact of COVID-19 changes the world forever, the need for online education is growing more apparent.

Schools in SA are expected to re-open next week Monday after more than two months of national lockdown, but some parents are fearful their children may be exposed to the deadly virus while at school, and some are now opting for home schooling or online classes.

According to Paul, Curro’s online teaching model combines flexible learning through pre-set learning material with live interaction whereby learners can ask teachers for help and also receive detailed feedback on their progress.

“Learners will be given the opportunity to post questions during and after the lesson, and the dedicated teacher will respond to these offline for all learners to access and learn from. During the lesson times, the learners will have a teacher supervising them, with the built-in teleconferencing system on the school’s online platform.

“Throughout the day, between 8am and 2pm, live tutoring sessions will be structured into the timetable with a teacher who personally marks all assignments and assessments, and keeps track of learners’ progress. This teacher will provide the necessary individualised feedback for the learner as well as for the parent to keep track of progress.”

Unlike other online schooling options that rely on a rotation schedule of tutors, Paul says the Curro online school will be taught by a dedicated Curro teacher per subject, per grade, for the whole year.

“Having dedicated teachers for each learner allows them to actively track the progress of the learner and intervene pro-actively when needed.”

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