South African Female Academics’ Work from Home Experiences during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Challenges and Opportunities
Alfred Henry Makura
Faculty of Humanities, Central University of Technology, Bloemfontein Campus, South Africa
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Keywords

work from home
female academics
higher education
COVID-19
instructional management
blended learning

How to Cite

Makura, A. (2022). South African Female Academics’ Work from Home Experiences during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Challenges and Opportunities. Journal of Culture and Values in Education, 5(1), 13-22. https://doi.org/10.46303/jcve.2022.3

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered pedagogical ramifications in many higher education institutions. The Work from Home (WFH) phenomenon as an offshoot of this development has not been adequately investigated in so far as female academics experienced it. This paper reports on ten female academics’ WFH instructional experiences with blended learning during the COVID-19 pandemic era. The WFH concept has necessitated the ‘virtualisation of pedagogy’ through blended teaching and learning of academics. The sample was purposively extracted from some higher education institutions in Gauteng, Free State and Eastern Cape Provinces of South Africa. The sample for this study was purposively selected irrespective of geographical location or ‘status’ of the institution. Each female academic responded to an open-ended structured questionnaire whose questions broadly focused on: their understanding of the Working From Home (WFH) phenomenon; the influence of home environment on their academic activities and the place of blended learning in a South African Higher education context. The data were collated and analysed for its content with supporting excerpts to discern and support themes. The female academics viewed WFH as relocating offices to their homes with the attendant plethora of academic challenges this entailed. The WFH constrained their abilities to complete academic activities particularly instructional related ones. Be that as it may, the pandemic has presented female academics with opportunities for professional growth through the blended mode of learning and newer perspectives on the apparently shifting gender roles. Such opportunities promote female academics’ quest for the reconfiguration of education pedagogy and gender autonomy in higher education post COVID-19.

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This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).  

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