In a society like South Africa, if there are a potential one thousand people studying music, only a fraction of them actually have the ability to access music education infrastructure that allows them to compete in the market. This means that only a small proportion of the performing art industries’ economic potential is realised.
Online education infrastructure has been around for more than 20 years, but big companies made us think that it is too expensive, and the prevarication of the traditional training institutions has left many people confused about the technology.
There are, however, more organisations that are trying to realise the potential of online education in resource-poor settings, but most of them get caught up in mainstream education policy that always pushes music education to the bottom of the list.
To use the actual words of a provincial public servant deciding how money is spent on digital education infrastructure: “Maybe we can look to see if there is some money available in my discretionary fund.”
Video is used almost exclusively to teach, but videos are a passive medium of instruction and in a resource-poor setting like South Africa, expensive. Most online resources on the web are designed from the premise that it would be accessed alongside educational infrastructure of some form.
Reakopana Online endeavours to teach music, and only music, starting with musical concepts aligned with international and local accreditation bodies, using a state-of-the-art OpenSource Learning Management System as a foundation for delivering the infrastructure. Interactive web technology and strategies are used to keep the students engaged.
Music teachers support the students and the content is designed to take students as near as possible to application on an instrument. Music education infrastructure can be affordable and accessible.
Herman THERON, Reakopana Online