New Timetable For Schools As More Grades Return
Staffing and spacing is the biggest challenge that public schools will face when all learners return to school on 24 August. The department is working on a plan to make sure that students are able to social distance in class.
Minister Motshekga said schools will use a rotational timetable to allow for social distancing measures to be practiced when all learners return.
“When learners come back we won’t have enough space to ensure physical distancing so we are going to have to use differentiated timetables which are going to be either daily rotations because we can’t all be here at the same time every day, there won’t be enough space for all of them to safely distance,” said the Minister.
Motshekga said the school year will continue, as it is in the best interest of learners.
“For me it is a disaster as even next year when we have trimmed the curriculum we will still not be able to claw back what we have lost,” she said.
Department Tries To Gain Lost Teaching Time
The department has decided to trim the national curriculum by carrying over parts of the 2020 curriculum into 2021.
“What we have done for the internal grades is to take parts of the curriculum of 2020 into the 2021 so we are going to only teach and assess them on only 70% of the curriculum.
“We are not going to dump the work we missed, we are going to factor it into 2021,” said Motshekga.
The Minister said it will be a 3 year programme that the department will use to see if they are going to gain back lost time. She said the situation is different for every school, depending on the resources available.
“What remains for the Grade 12 is that their paper has been set. They are writing a paper that has been set since two years ago. Because the cycle for the paper is 18 months.
“That is why we pushed the exam to December and we are not giving them a break to allow them to finish,” she said.
Motshekga said although the department had given parents the option to homeschool, many have not been taking it up.
“We even checked with the Home Schooling Association and parents didn’t take up home schooling. Without speaking to parents my view is that it is also not easy to home school. You have to register your child and you also have to arrange for assessments and sometimes parents themselves don’t have the time and capability to monitor the programme and that is why most of them didn’t take it up,” she said.
Motshekga said parents have the responsibility to make the right decision for their children.
“As far as we are concerned we are doing all we can to make sure that children are safe but, rightfully as a parent, if you continue to feel that your child is not safe do the right thing and register your child for home schooling, develop a programme and keep your child at home,” she said.
NSFAS has opened its application season for learners and out-of-school youth who will be studying at public universities and TVET colleges in 2022. However, some applicants have had trouble finding their courses listed on the NSFAS website.
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