Motshekga Says Schools Could Take 3 Years To Catch Up

Many schools have lost teaching time because of covid-19. The basic education department is now trying to make the most of what's left of the academic year, but this will come at a cost for future grades. 

Motshekga said the department has decided to take parts of the 2020 curriculum over into 2021. It could take a total of 3 years for schools to catch up with the time lost from trimming the curriculum. 

"We are going to only teach, assess almost 70% of what [internal grades] were supposed to have taken. And in 2021, when the Grade 3s, for instance, start, they will start with Grade 2 work which we had removed from the curriculum."

"We are not going to dump the 30% that we have not done. We are going to factor it into 2021. In 2021, again, we don't think we will finish the work of 2020/2021 in 2021. That's why I say it's going to be a three-year programme to see if we can clock back what we have lost."

The decision to trim the curriculum was influenced by the department's decision to introduce a new timetable schedule. 

Motshekga said schools will use a differentiated timetable from 24 August in order to have enough space for learners and staff to keep a physical distance.

"Some are going to have weekly rotations, where learners come this week, they are given work to work for the whole week at home and then they come back to school."

"Every school is looking at its own situation, where it is with the curriculum, what are the available resources, what support is there"

The Minister said the paper for matric learners was set in 2017/2018 and could not be changed. 

Motshekga said the 4-week break for public schools is not related to the rate of infections increasing in the country. She said her department decided to take this time to deal with its own challenges, as it needed to bring more teachers in to make up for teachers it lost with comorbidities. 

"Schools are good for children. They are better off in school than anywhere else."


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