Since 1975 The Answer Series, often called TAS, has been renowned for empowering high school learners with world class study guides. This family run business continues to champion this, whilst adapting to the needs of a post-covid world. “We knew that education was on the cusp of significant change pre-Covid; however the pandemic has served as a great accelerant and as a catalyst for adaptation,” comments TAS CEO George Eadie.
So what does this look like in practice? As part of their commitment to continue learning and adding value, TAS has launched a podcast series, titled Around the table with CEO George Eadie.
Commenting on this new podcast series, Rob Paddock, Founder and CEO of the Valenture Institute says, “These podcasts are such a valuable contribution to the SA education ecosystem – thank you George!”
So, why podcasts? According to the World Association of News Publishers, there are three key reasons why young adults resonate with podcasts – and TAS want to be at the forefront of this:
1. Convenience: They are a simple way to access media. One doesn’t have to actively search or read while engaging with the content.
2. Control: Digital natives want to be in control and self-schedule. Young people don’t want a broadcast scheduler telling them what to listen to and when.
3. More diverse, less stuffy: Podcasting provides… more diversity, a range of opinions and voices that better reflect the interests of this generation.
“Our intention with this podcast is to go on a journey to deepen our understanding of the education system in South Africa. In each episode we will talk all things education, innovation and inspiration with eight brilliant guests from around the country and further afield,” explains Eadie.
Guest speakers to date include Giles Gillett, CEO of New Leaders Foundation; John Sanei, Futures Strategist; Sizwe Nxasana, founder of Sifiso Learning Group and Chairman of the NECT; and Sarah Gravett, Dean of Education and the University of Johannesburg. Each of these speakers have clout and credibility, but beyond that they have unique opinions and perspectives on the world, which gives listeners the opportunity to learn and develop their own views.
In episode one Eadie and Gillett unpack the status of education in South Africa, the extreme challenges it’s facing, how covid has impacted it and on what basis we can feel hopeful about a brighter future. “There is hope and there is a way, we’ve just got to do it together,” says Eadie.
Episode two unpacks the future of education in South Africa and the challenging, yet very exciting changes it is continuously facing. Eadie and Sanei also discuss the important role structure plays in schools and how it is influenced by technology these days. This demonstrates how the podcast has breadth but also depth, delving in to topical issues and really focusing on possible solutions.
In the third episode Eadie and Nxasana discuss the role of schooling and teacher development in South Africa a key foundation for the future of education in South Africa.
Episode four is centred around teachers and the teaching landscape in South Africa: unpacking what can be done to support teachers and enable educators to fulfil the potential that exists.
“The common theme so far is that those in the senior positions, such as our guests so far, have learned that there are no silver bullets. Improving education in SA requires a team effort. We would like to invite anyone who is passionate about affecting positive change in education to join us on this learning journey. Let’s work together to fuel the spirit of education in South Africa,” concludes Eadie.