Rotational Attendance System Is Not Working, says Minister

As the Department of Basic Education puts forward a proposal to have all primary school learners return to class full-time, the Minister has since agreed that the current rotational system is not practical. A decision on whether this full return will happen is yet to be made.

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The Minister in charge of Basic Education in the country, Angie Motshekga, is siding with teachers and parents who have said that the rotational system used in schools as a safety measure is not working. 

In a statement released by the Department, it read:

She said a return to the normal approach in which all primary learners are in school would be desirable.

This option is now being proposed as the department has recognised that there has been a huge amount of teaching and learning time lost.

The concern with this however is that schools are not big enough and that there is not a sufficient amount of classrooms to ensure that all learners will be able to practise social distancing.

Infrastructure issues like these coming up is not a first as this was a problem the department faced before the pandemic hit. Plans for school infrastructure to be improved have been delayed.

During a meeting with Members of Parliament at the Infrastructure Roundtable, Motshekga said:

It would be impossible to say that we have to wait for all infrastructure backlogs to be dealt with before we reconsider the current model. That would be a decades-long wait.

She went on to say, "There are historical and current reasons for why we are here, financial and other constraints cannot be ignored."

The department is currently engaging with the Council and other stakeholders on the possibility of all learners returning to primary schools full-time. However, the final decision has to be made by Cabinet.

The proposal has to also be heard and consulted on by School Governing Body associations, teacher unions and civil society.

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