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A checklist on how to choose an online school that’s right for your child.

If you’re not sure whether online schooling in South Africa is suitable for your child, or which online school will be the best fit for them, this checklist will help make that choice a whole lot easier.

Before you even begin learning more about online schooling, first find out how your child actually learns, and what factors impact their ability to be at their best.


Many children feel overwhelmed by the ‘real world’ school system – the noise and number of students in class, the reality of physical bullying, and the challenge of early morning traffic and the time taken to travel to school. All of these can impact their ability to absorb information and reach their full potential.


Other children who are auditory learners or have learning barriers can feel left behind by an education system that doesn’t play to their strengths – they may need to play back a lesson at a slower pace or watch a recorded lesson in their own time and space that suits them, and not feel stigmatised for this.


On the other hand, top students and multi-talented achievers may loathe the limits placed on them by traditional schools, where they are either held back by what they feel is a plodding pace of study, or can’t find the time they need to devote to their other talents.


An online school like Teneo can address all these individual needs, and change a child’s learning outcomes for the better.


Teneo offers three learning formats to choose from:


  • Live: Participate in a full school day’s scheduled live lessons taught by qualified teachers according to your daily timetable. All live lessons are recorded to revisit later.
  • Live + Recorded: Participate in scheduled live lessons taught by qualified teachers according to your daily timetable, and for the other half of the day’s coursework watch pre-recorded lessons in your own time to stay on track. All live lessons are recorded to revisit later.
  • Recorded: Watch pre-recorded lessons taught by qualified teachers at a time you choose to stay on track with your daily coursework.


The Live option is best for students who need more routine and structure and direct engagement with live teachers in a classroom setting, interacting with fellow students, with the option to revisit lessons at their own pace. 


The Recorded option is great for students who prefer independent learning and who thrive in a space of freedom and flexibility. 


And the Live + Recorded option is for students who like the combination of a little structure but also want to pursue outside passions and interests and learn in their own time.

A checklist for choosing an online school

Whatever learning format you feels fits your child best, these questions should be top of mind when making your choice of school:

1. Are the teachers qualified and is the school accredited?

  • All Teneo teachers are qualified and registered with SACE (South African Council for Educators). 
  • Teneo is registered with three different examination boards: SACAI and IEB for students following the South African curriculum, and Pearson Edexcel for those who want to follow the British International curriculum. 
  • Teneo students can achieve their South African Matric NSC certificate and apply to tertiary institutions in South Africa and abroad.


Tip: When asking about teachers’ credentials, be specific and also check that the school is accredited with credible, legitimate examination boards that are accredited with the Umalusi Council..

2. What guarantees are in place to make sure the school puts students’ needs first?

  • Teneo classes are led by qualified teachers, and assignments and tests are set and marked by these same teachers, so that students get personal feedback – teaching is not outsourced to third-party tutors.
  • Communication with parents and students is open and easy. Parents get regular feedback in real time, and can track their child’s progress and class attendance through the Canvas Parent Observer app.  And Teneo’s Family Portal allows students and parents to log tickets for technical, academic and general support. 


Tip: Ask what parent and student platforms are in place to allow interactions with the teacher and for parents to raise any queries that arise. 

How will I know whether my child will get individual attention and support?

  • Teneo offers a choice of 3 learning formats to address the needs of different learning styles and preferences.
  • Teneo offers live lessons with teacher interaction and playback recordings of all lessons.


Tip: Ask whether the school offers live lessons and recordings of live lessons, and whether qualified teachers lead the teaching, as opposed to outsourcing to third-party providers, such as tutors.

4. How does the school measure success?

  • Teneo applies a holistic approach to allow each child to reach their full potential and explore their interests.  
  • Teneo provides enrichment opportunities and rigorous curriculums to make sure students remain engaged and challenged. For the third year, Teneo students have secured a place in the top 10 SACAI matriculants in South Africa. In 2023, Teneo outperformed the national average matric pass rate and bachelor pass rate.
  • Teneo partners with extramural and social clubs to equip students with far more than academic knowledge, to help them to grow into well-rounded adults who can take their place in the world of further study and work.

 Tip: Ask what the school’s success criteria are. Ask what policy is in place for further studies and learning support.

5. Does the school also offer opportunities to connect socially with classmates and pursue other interests?

  • Teneo offers over 20 extramurals with partners who operate across SA, providing an opportunity to interact and connect with peers through common interests.
  • Teneo also provides multiple collaborative and connecting opportunities through live lessons and online group projects.
  • Along with social activities, workshops and clubs, Teneo students are allocated to a classroom to meet their classmates and teachers weekly for fun activities, to share news and knowledge, celebrate birthdays and have a good catch-up.


Tip: Ask what in-person extramurals and collaborative opportunities are on offer.


A well-established, well-run online school will have all the necessary processes, procedures and resources in place to make sure each child feels safe, seen and supported. In that sense, Teneo ticks all the boxes!


Wondering whether it’s wise to move to online schooling in SA?

Parents and students got a taste of online schooling during the Covid-19 lockdown, and many saw immediate benefits over ‘bricks and mortar’ schools. We’ll take a deep dive into why digital schooling is on the rise in South Africa.

When the pandemic hit our shores, it pushed schooling into the digital space,  and made it a more popular alternative to traditional schools. Teneo first opened its doors pre-pandemic in 2018, and was ahead of the curve back then. But the curve has caught up. Why? Because online schooling offers very real benefits for both parents and students.

A solve for schooling issues in SA

Parents often find themselves stuck between the proverbial  ‘rock and a hard place’ when it comes to finding a school for their child. 


Government schools struggle to accommodate the influx of new learners each year – and semigration to other provinces like the Western Cape hasn’t helped. As a result,  students are placed in ‘catchment area’ schools, often with less than ideal educational standards. To add to this, private schools are utterly unaffordable for the average South African family. 


It’s no wonder that online schools across South Africa have stepped into the gap by offering an excellent education at an affordable cost, with accreditation from both local and international examination boards like SACAI, IEB and Pearson Edexcel.


Teneo is currently one of the largest online schools in South Africa and is something of a pioneer in the space. Here’s why.

Pioneering education the Teneo way

Teneo offers parents persuasive and practical reasons to make the move to online tuition, through the following:

Calibre of teaching

All students are able to access high quality school lessons taught by qualified teachers registered with the South African Council for Educators (SACE). Many of our teachers are successful at the examiner level.

Range of subjects

Teneo offers the widest range of subjects in the country, provides schooling in two languages from Grade R to 12, and offers live teaching and recorded lesson formats led by accredited professional teachers.

Prepping students for the work world of the future

Tech is woven into every aspect of our work lives making digital literacy a key skill. Teneo preps students for this way of working by making them comfortable in an online environment and through their interaction with edtech tools like Canvas. They also learn online etiquette through Zoom meetings and webinars, and adopt vital ‘soft’ skills like time management.  

Addressing neurodivergent students

With attentional disorders on the rise, and Gen Z and Alpha increasingly distracted by their phones, Teneo provides an antidote to this – live lessons led by teachers, backed by recordings of these lessons, which students can play back as often and whenever they want, for revision on the day or ahead of tests and exams.

Flexibility and mobility

Teneo’s online environment offers families a way to learn at their own pace and place, with their unique needs prioritised. This frees up families who travel a lot or need to relocate, and enables talented kids to pursue activities outside school hours – such as national or international show-jumping, gymnastics or robotics competitions.

Value for money

Teneo’s enrolment data shows that 94% of parents feel online schooling provides better value for money than traditional schools. With the cost of living crisis crippling the average budget, schools like Teneo provide real value for money, skipping out-of-pocket costs for expensive uniforms, outings and meals at school.

So, what do our parents ultimately get out of the Teneo online experience?

Says a happy parent Matsipa: “It is an exceptional experience to be a part of Teneo. The teachers are patient, acknowledge every child’s individuality and provide good guidance whilst nurturing them to be the best possible versions of themselves. My son has learned to work independently and navigate the system. He has blossomed into a goal-orientated, confident, compassionate, competent young man.”


It looks like online schools offer an outstanding solution for families, across the country, looking for access to quality education.