Analysis of ramifications of power outages on online teaching and learning in South Africa

Proceedings of The 9th International Conference on New Findings in Humanities and Social Sciences

Year: 2023



Analysis of ramifications of power outages on online teaching and learning in South Africa

Edgar Julius Malatji & Nhlayisi Cedrick Baloyi




This qualitative paper analyses the ramifications of power outages on online teaching and Learning higher education in South Africa. Globally, online teaching and learning have been commended as the pinnacle of open distance learning. However, in South Africa, this approach has been disrupted by continuous power cuts. The analysis, in this paper, is based on the perspectives of both students and lecturers from the selected universities in South Africa. The explanatory research design is the blueprint of this study. Both students and lecturers were conveniently selected to participate in this investigation. On one hand, two focus groups consisted of students anchored in the data collection process, while on the other hand, one group focused on the lecturers. Additionally, reflexive thematic analysis was used to analyse the responses from both sets of participants. Connectivism theory anchors the golden thread in this argument. According to some of the responses from the students, power cuts cause severe disruption to their studies. The findings show that these power cuts negatively affect online teaching and learning activities as lecturers are also inconvenienced. The findings reveal that the power cuts are disrupting network connectivity. As a result, the teaching and learning process is frequently disrupted due to this problem. Thus, the study recommends that universities should invest in alternative power supply to circumvent power cut disruptions. The other recommendation exposes a need for offline teaching and learning platforms to reduce over-reliance on the national power utility also known as Eskom.

keywords: Analysis; power outages; teaching and learning; online; universities