Exploring Academics’ Perception of Work-From-Home Opportunities and Challenges During the Covid-19 Lockdown: Implications for Teacher Education Programme in South Africa
Abstract: This study explored the academics’ perception of Work-From-Home opportunities and challenges in the context of a South African university. The study was a qualitative research design. The sample size of 10 was selected from among members of the faculty of education in a rural-based university in South Africa, using the purposive sampling technique. Data were collected using a semi-structured interview guide and analysis was done thematically. Findings reveal that WFH arrangements offer opportunities for work at home without incurring the cost of travelling, new ways of teaching and learning with the evolving digital platforms as well as prioritising time for self-development and relaxation. While WFH challenges include social isolations, disconnect from fellow colleagues, fatigue from performing monotonous routines on a daily basis, inadequate data, and poor internet connectivity. The implication of this study is the urgent need to review the teacher education programme to accommodate modules for educational technology and continuous capacity development in the use of technology for blended teaching and learning. The study concludes by charging authorities to prepare both academic and teacher-trainees in South Africa ahead of future disruptions in the education sector by promoting technology use in higher institutions.
Presider: Fawzi Benmessaoud, IU School of Informatics & Computing, IUPUI