Mathanzima Mweli


There has been discussions within government on whether all learners will be returning to school full time. When will this be happening? Will the third wave affect the decision?

The 2020 matric pass rate dropped by 5,1% and Professor Moeketsi Letseka, the UNESCO chair on open distance learning at UNISA says that under the circumstances these results should be welcomed. 

The Department of Basic Education has said that the decline seen in 2020's Matric pass rate is not Covid related and would have actually been very close to last year's pass rate. The Matric Class of 2020 achieved a national pass rate of 76.2%.

Let's get this 2021 school year rolling! Today officially marked the first day learners are at public schools. This comes after the reopening dates were delayed due to the pandemic.

The Department of Basic Education's Minister Angie Motshekga has said that parents must still pay school fees at fee-paying schools despite schools closing for extended periods of time due to outbreaks of Covid-19. 

The Department of Basic Education has released the updated academic calendar for schools in South Africa for 2021, including new term dates. 

Many parents are coming forward and saying that they are having issues with school placements due to needing to pay a registration fee. The department has now responded to this issue. 

Recently the TPN Credit Bureau conducted a survey which indicated that schools are facing challenges in collecting fees from parents. 

According to the calendar set out by the Department of Basic Education, school management teams and support staff are expected to return to schools today. 

Some teachers are now showing concern and are worried that even with the delayed reopening of schools, returning to schools still won't be safe for them. Teachers are due back at schools on 1 February with learners following on 15 February.

Mark capturing for this years National Senior Certificate exams have now begun. The department is said to be days ahead of schedule during this years matric marking season.

With the department nearing the end of this years Matric marking session, they are said to be ahead of schedule which further motivates there being no delay in the release of results.

Matric exam markers in the Free State are fearful to return to marking centres after eight markers tested positive for the coronavirus at seven different venues. 

With the department announcing earlier that they will be opening online schools, Deputy Minister Reginah Mhaule reiterated that they are working hard to improve on e-learning. 

The Director-General of the Department of Basic Education, Mathanzima Mweli, is concerned when it comes to social distancing not being undertaken at a Limpopo marking centre.

With the 2021 school year looking uncertain now that South Africa experiences a second wave of infections, the Department of Basic Education has now said where they currently stand in terms of when schools will be opening.

Basic Education Minister Reginah Mhaule and director-general Mathanzima Mweli presented the dropout projections earlier this week to the Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Basic Education. “It is devastating to anticipate even greater dropout rates than South Africa was seeing before the pandemic,” says Equal Education.

The speculation about the revised academic calendar has been confirmed and released.