As of Monday 4 May 2020, an SABC channel dedicated exclusively to educational content will go live.
According to a statement issued by the public broadcaster, the SABC Education channel will initially be available on YouTube and Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) with availability on other platforms to be confirmed later.
This means that the channel will not be free to air and therefore not yet available to all learners across the country.
“In line with the corporation’s mandate, the new channel will broadcast public service content from the Department of Education, educational programmes currently available on SABC 1, 2, 3, and archived material produced by the SABC on a limited basis.”
The public broadcaster believes that the addition of the SABC Education channel to its existing portfolio will benefit learners throughout the country who have access to the Digital Terrestrial Television (Digital TV) network and other platforms, and provide them with more flexibility with regard to accessing educational content.
“The launch of the channel is consistent with the Broadcasting Act, which stipulates that the public service content provided by the Corporation must include a significant amount of educational programming.”
The establishment of the channel comes amid the global Covid-19 scourge, which has impacted the country’s education system extensively.
“The launch of the channel is timely, as the nation requires these interventions to fill gaps that have been created by Covid-19 related adjustments. In particular, this initiative will ensure that education and learning continues outside the traditional classroom environment,” said Group CEO Madoda Mxakwe.
“The introduction of the SABC Education channel is in line with our education strategy which has been in the pipeline for some time,” he added in reference to the fact that the channel is a long-term project that is targeted at foundation, intermediate, high school, as well as civic and tertiary education categories.
“The core content will be broadcast in a customary linear manner, while ancillary programming will stream via digital platforms. The digital streaming of the channel will be carried using the SABC Education portal, SABC Education Virtual Academy (SEVA), Social Media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and other SABC channel websites.”
The public broadcaster noted that the viability and success of the SABC Education campaign is dependent on sponsorships as this is what enables them to make this vital educational material to all learners.
“This is only possible if funding is made available to broadcast this material on SABC 1 and 2, the platforms with the best national reach. The SABC can provide 12 hours per day over these two channels.”