The IVA Global 3D virtual School is the first of its kind in South Africa where learners and teachers use avatars to learn and interact.
It was founded by former head of academics of the ADvTECH group
The virtual school also has e-sports capabilities where the learners can come together for play.

A new online school, IVA Global, has taken remote learning up a notch with what it is calling a new “3D virtual reality” school.

The school was founded in October by John Luis, who was previously head of academics at the ADvTECH group of schools, which includes the Crawford Schools and Trinity House brands.

Launched in October, the 3D school allows teachers and students to interact and engage in a virtual classroom as if they were in a physical school, using avatars.

Students still need to dress their avatars, physically walk them through the school gates and find their classrooms. Other functionalities include the ability to walk the avatar up to the teacher to ask questions and sitting and engaging with other class mates.

The school also has an e-sports feature where students team up and engage in different games.

The Covid-19 pandemic upended many aspects of human life and saw schools across the world shut their doors, forcing learners and teachers to migrate learning to digital platforms.

In response, another private school group Curro also launched an online-only school.

Luis said the establishment of the online school was informed by a growing need among learners to take ownership of their learning as well as the desire to manage their own time and academic work, as opposed to a traditional school setting where learners followed a structured timetable.

The school’s fees start from R24,990 for pre-school to R29,990 from grade 4 to grade 13 or A levels matric.

Luis said the school is currently investigating simulation which may see the addition of real-life situations such as fire drills which the learners will have to manoeuvre around. This will be integrated into certain subjects as well, such as chemistry where learners are able to explore with concoctions which would otherwise be unsafe in a real setting.

“I think that is going to give the student a phenomenal leap with regards to their understanding. To be able to make mistakes in a simulated environment without fear that they can’t,” he said.

In future, children will also be allowed to design their own classrooms, which may end up look like an aquarium or a forest.