The country’s public service 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. However, the viability and success of the “SABC Education campaign” is dependent on sponsorships to enable these vital educational material to be made available 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.
The SABC Education channel which will go live on 4th May 2020, will be initially available on YouTube and Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT), and other platforms to be confirmed later. 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 COVID-19 global scourge, which has impacted the country’s education system extensively. Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Madoda Mxakwe says that, “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”.
However, it is worth noting that it is a long-term project that is targeted at foundation, intermediate, high school, as well as civic and tertiary education categories. Consistent with this, Mr. Mxakwe states that “The introduction of the SABC Education channel is in line with our education strategy which has been in the pipeline for some time”.
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.