NEW PARADIGM AT UNIVERSITY OF ESWATINI: IS BLENDED LEARNING THE FUTURE OF TEACHING-LEARNING SYSTEM IN THE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION CONTEXT?
The COVID-19 pandemic has not only disrupted the current education system, but it has also redefined the landscape for higher education, such as teaching and learning in general and open distance learning in particular. On the other hand, this disruption has compelled all educational institutions to think about possible future requirements relevant to the changing context for teaching and learning in terms of accessibility, availability and affordability of internet facilities required for wide access and equity to quality education. Educational institutions are slowly moving towards Blended Teaching-Learning and Examination, which is changing the perception of learning among students. However, the benefits and facilities for Blended Learning (BL) were not yet realized by many educational institutions at the time COVID-19 forced them to explore new methods of teaching and learning. In addition, there was an absence of a long-term strategy or direction for Blended Teaching-Learning policy in many educational institutions all over the World. As part of its strategic plan, the University of Eswatini has started implementing the Blended Teaching-Learning system to maintain learning continuity, ensuring quality education during the COVID-19 crisis.