How to approach Distance Education.

Distance education is a popular alternative to traditional schooling, as discussed in our previous post which can be found at, but questions often arise about how it all works. These questions are on everyone’s mind when considering distance education as a schooling option.

Although often confused, distance education and home education are two different things with the same principle. Home education refers to grade R – 9, the compulsory school going years that a child must complete. Home education does not require you to register with a distance education provider, however, you must register your child with the Provincial Education Department at the beginning of each phase. The parent may choose to offer any curriculum that will be of a standard not inferior to the standard of education provided at public schools. Home education takes place primarily at home and the parent is responsible for the education of his/ her child. The parent may make use of a distance education provider for provision of a curriculum, and to assist in assessment.

After compulsory school-going age a student can further his/her studies to acquire a qualification, like the National Senior Certificate (South African matric), Cambridge IGCSE and AS levels, or even vocational qualifications like N1,2 and 3. If a student does not want to go the traditional schooling/college route, he/she can accomplish this through distance education, in which case he/she needs to register with a distance education provider that is registered with an accredited assessment body. Distance education providers provide students with different levels of support regarding teaching and learning and they assess the students’ progress up until the student acquires the relevant qualification.

Entering into distance education for the FET phase (Gr10 – 12) is something that needs to be considered carefully, as mentioned in our previous blog. But doing so is easy, and yes, it is within the law as long as you register with a distance education provider. Your FET phase of schooling is an NQF level 2-4 and is a national qualification, thus you must follow regulations. This does not make it more difficult than traditional schooling, it simply makes it a different approach to the same challenge. Here are a few helpful tips to make your distance education experience easy and enjoyable.

  1. Investigate all the options. Don’t pursue, or encourage your child to pursue, distance education if you are not certain of your, or their, needs and wants. Figure out how the student feels about all the options first by weighing up the pros and the cons of all options to ensure a thorough investigation has been conducted. Remember, the goal is to find the option that will allow the student to succeed, not what will be easiest for them or their parents,
  2. Once the student has decided that distance education is the answer to the FET qualification challenge, find a suitable, registered Distance Education Provider such as Auxilio Distance Education. Finding the right Distance Education Provider is important because each one offers something different while other aspects of each Distance Education Provider overlaps. By ensuring you have the one that you feel suits the student’s needs and wants, you will be setting the student up for success.
  3. Create a quiet, calm, and comfortable space for the student to work in. Albeit on the kitchen counter, what matters is that the student find their space to be sparking both confidence in themselves and focus on the task at hand. We would hate for the student to work in a space that does not allow for their creativity and intelligence to flourish because they are unable to focus on tasks at hand.
  4. Plan, plan, plan. Planning a day may seem dubious, but it helps to organize your day to ensure that the student has enough time to get through the curriculum as well as getting the assessments done. Creating a planner for the week, month, or even the year, can assist the student to organize their mind and their time so that they can get everything done.
  5. Seek help if needed. The student must never feel ashamed, or be made to feel ashamed, for needing help. If the student is struggling, find them a tutor that can help them with subjects and areas that they struggle with. Remembering that the goal is not to have a tutor or teacher teach them the entire syllabus, the goal is for the student to learn on their own time, in their own way. The goal of a tutor should be to just give a helping hand where necessary.
  6. Stay motivated. It is very easy for a distance education student to fall into bad habits and lazy tendencies, so it is best to keep the student motivated and help them to find the things that motivate them and stick them everywhere, and I really mean everywhere. By seeing things that motivate them, the student will consistently be re-enforcing that motivating energy to continue working hard and to be able to succeed. It sometimes helps to also stay active and socialize at appropriate times because that could only reinvigorate the motivation that the student feels.

Distance education seems like quite a challenge, but doesn’t every method of schooling come with its challenges? The key is to understand whether this is the answer for the student or not. Allowing the student to take responsibility is another key aspect to distance education because this not only prepares the student for the changing job environment, hybrid and work-from-home, it also prepares them for life in general. Just remember, when considering distance education, this is not the easy way out, this also comes with its own challenges.

Why Distance Education?

Distance education is educating you child from home by making use of a curriculum provider, it is one of the options available to home education parents. The benefits of home education are widely recognized by psychologists and education professionals alike. While some may argue that home education is just a lonely alternative to the more traditional schooling system, many have seen the benefits of this alternative due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Distance education has also branched into online schooling, where a learner has the benefit of the structured monitored system in the comfort of their own home.  The most attractive reason for the shift is obvious as many people are trying to find alternatives for everything which will allow them to get more value for their money. Business Tech’s article says that online schooling, gives you more value for your money than your traditional schooling system (

Many people may argue that although there is a financial advantage to distance education it is outweighed by the social disadvantages, however learners that are home educated are in many cases more confident and have higher self-esteem, because they socialize with people of different ages and are not forced into a specific peer group.  Institutions also hold events for their students to be able to interact with others. The availability of online classes also allows students to meet people and interact with each other.

Distance education has many other benefits as well, ones that you may never even have thought about. Managing a school schedule, while pursuing a career as a professional sportsperson can be difficult and stressful.  This alternative to traditional schooling offers a level of flexibility that traditional schooling does not offer. This allows you to focus on your sport while still getting a much-needed basic education.

Distance education is also the ideal alternative to traditional schooling if you, wish to focus on your child’s specific educational needs. For example children with Asperger syndrome and Autism have very specific educational and personal needs, meaning that often traditional schooling is not the answer. Distance education is the key to allowing someone with an atypical mind to flourish on an educational level, as indicated in the eBook; “Teaching at home: A new approach to Tutoring children with Autism and Asperger Syndrome” written by Olga Holland in 2005.

Distance education encourages responsibility and teaches students the value of planning and self-discipline. With the idea of being able to plan and work around your own schedule in mind, you are allowing students to learn not only schoolwork, but also important life skills that will only benefit them in the future. By removing the “spoon-feeding” aspect of schooling from the life of a child, you are empowering them with important skills such as responsibility for their own actions without enforcing this idea of guilt or “getting into trouble” in front of an entire class. While learning responsibility, students are also learning about self-discipline, a skill that is essential in the work environment today, especially considering the new shift to a hybrid work environment. These skills are not taught in traditional schooling, or at least not taught often. Allowing students to take control of their own education empowers them with these skills and so much more.

These are only but a few reasons why distance education is a respected and ideal, albeit unfamiliar, alternative to traditional schooling. This alternative offers many benefits and allow students great freedom with the need for great responsibility.

The different roads to Matric.

Matric is a means to an end, which opens the door to one’s future. Many South Africans did not complete their matric and that may limit their opportunities. At Auxilio cc our younger generation gets the opportunity to complete matric in the comfort of their home and we can assist those that dare to try again to successfully complete the task.

There are two matric qualifications:

Qualification:NSC (National Senior Certificate) This used to be the SC (Senior Certificate)ASC (Amended Senior Certificate) Adult learners who are 21 years and older.Only in exceptional cases will learners aged 18-21 be accepted for this qualification.
Entrance Requirements:Any one of the following:   A grade 9 report that states that the learner were promoted or progressed.A General Education and Training Certificate (GETC) for Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET).A NQF Level 1 Certificate which requires two languages.A recognised equivalent qualification obtained at NQF Level 1 which requires two official languages.An official document of approval from the relevant HOD confirming that a learner who has received home education prior to Grade 10 has reached the required level in Grade 9.Any one of the following: A General Education and Training Certificate (GETC), Auxilio is in the process of registering with SACAI to provide the GETC.A Grade 9 school report (or the old St. 7), stating that they have been promoted or progressed.A recognised equivalent qualification obtained at NQF Level 1 which requires two official languages.Adult learners with an incomplete Senior Certificate qualification. (The matric qualification before the NSC)Adult learners who are 21 years and older with an incomplete National Senior Certificate and whose School-Based Assessment (SBA) validity has expired.
Duration:3 yearsIt is one exam sitting, but the learner must allow him/herself the time to study work covered in the 3 years (Gr 10 – 12)
Program Requirements:You must complete the SBA (School/ Site based assessment) for each year (Gr 10 – 12) in 7 subjects and write the final examination.Write the final examination in 6 subjects.
Promotional Requirements:In each year the learner must achieve: 40% in 3 subjects, 1 of which is an official language on Home Language level.30% in 3 subjects. One subject may be less than 30%, provided that the complete SBA is submitted in this subject.40% for 3 subjects of which one must be an official language on Home Language level. 30% for 2 subjects of which one must be an official language on First Additional Language level.20% for 1 subject.
Where can I register for the qualification:Any private or public school, accredited by Umalusi.Any distance education provider registered with one of the assessment bodies that are accredited by Umalusi. Auxilio is a Distance Education Provider (DEP) registered with SACAI, which is an assessment body provisionally accredited by Umalusi.Department of Basic Education.Private FET college accredited by Umalsusi.
What if I sat for the NSC and failed:You may register for the following exam sitting for the subjects failed, provided you have a complete SBA.You may choose to redo or complete the SBA and then register for the following exam sitting. 
How many examination sittings per year:There are 2 sittings per year.There are 2 sittings per year.