At the beginning of the year, the Western Cape Government released its 2022 systemic test results for Mathematics and Reading, which revealed that learning suffered quite a bit during the Covid-19 pandemic. They expect the results of the Progress in International Reading and Literacy Study 2021, to show that learners across the country experienced the same challenges.
“We simply cannot say that a child is receiving quality education if more than half of our Grade 3, 6, and 9, learners cannot achieve the basic pass score for Mathematics and Reading,” stated the Western Cape Government.
In an effort to resolve these issues, the government has invested R1.2 billion into their #BackOnTrack programme, which will run over the next three years. The government has selected 333 schools to receive targeted support based on the systemic test results, in addition to the 1 100 schools that are already receiving extra support in the Foundation Phase since 2022.
The new schools will identify 126 000 learners, 8 980 teachers, and 28 000 parents that will participate in the programme. This is in addition to the 310 000 learners and 10 000 teachers already participating in the Foundation Phase.
The programme aims to cover all grades from Foundation Phase to Grade 12. A variety of teaching, learning, and support methods are implemented, both in person and online.
Some Grade 4, 7, and 8 teachers will be provided with targeted support every 10 days. Grade 12 learners will participate in biweekly online afternoon sessions with expert presenters in several subjects.
Tried and tested methods will be applied in Grades where they have not been used before. For example, Grade 4, 7, and 8 learners will now attend Saturday classes through the programme.
The programme complements and builds on existing programmes. Previously successful interventions such as the Maths Curriculum Online programme will be used. Extra time will also be spent on Maths and Reading during the school day.
Principals and teachers involved in the programme will be providing feedback to the government on what works, what needs more work, and how they can improve the programme. The programme will also be closely monitored through the #BackOnTrack War Room which will provide the government with updates and feedback on the programme.
The government invites residents of the Western Cape to support them on this journey and to make the choice to invest in their children’s future. “Let us all work together to get our children #BackOnTrack."