Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has appealed to communities, parents and caregivers to support students amid the pandemic. Briefing the nation earlier, Motshekga said the education sector has suffered immensely, expressing concern over a loss of learning time.
Painting a bleak picture, socio-economic researcher at the University of Stellenbosch Professor Martin Gustafsson said critical grades including foundation phases have seen a dramatic drop in attendance. Gustafsson says half the learning has been lost this year, indicating that it will be “near impossible to fully recover from the learning losses”. Motshekga says key strategies to combat this include implementing measures to catch up on loss time and preventing further disruptions.
Motshkega also announced that the Council of Education Ministers (CEM) met on Friday and education MEC’s conceded to the opinions of teacher unions and school governing bodies; that the October holidays cannot be scrapped. It was decided that the academic calendar would remain unchanged. Early childhood learning practitioners at both registered and unregistered centres are meanwhile encouraged to cooperate with census field workers, set to continue until until December.