A wake-up call: equity, inequality and Covid-19 emergency remote teaching and learning

Laura Czerniewicz*, Najma Agherdien, Johan Badenhorst, Dina Zoe Belluigi*, Tracey Chambers, Muntuwenkosi Chili, Magriet de Villiers, Alan Felix, Daniela Gachago, Craig Gokhale, Eunice Ivala, Neil Kramm, Matete Madiba, Gitanjali Mistri, Emmanuel Mgqwashu, Nicola Pallitt, Paul Prinsloo, Kelly Solomon, Sonja Strydom, Mike SwanepoelFaiq Waghid, Gerrit Wissing

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Produced from experiences at the outset of the intense times when Covid-19 lockdown restrictions began in March 2020, this collaborative paper offers the collective reflections and analysis of a group of teaching and learning and Higher Education (HE) scholars from a diverse 15 of the 26 South African public universities. In the form of a theorised narrative insistent on foregrounding personal voices, it presents a snapshot of the pandemic addressing the following question: what does the ‘pivot online’ to Emergency Remote Teaching and Learning (ERTL), forced into urgent existence by the Covid-19 pandemic, mean for equity considerations in teaching and learning in HE? Drawing on the work of Therborn (2009: 20–32; 2012: 579–589; 2013; 2020) the reflections consider the forms of inequality - vital, resource and existential - exposed in higher education. Drawing on the work of Tronto (1993; 2015; White and Tronto 2004) the paper shows the networks of care which were formed as a counter to the systemic failures of the sector at the onset of the pandemic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)946–967
JournalPostdigital Science and Education
Publication statusPublished - 23 Sep 2020


  • equity
  • higher education
  • digital
  • pedagogy
  • South africa
  • inequality
  • Covid-19


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