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Here’s how the DA says government can get schools back on track

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As schools reopen fully after two years of Covid-19 disruptions, the DA says the department of basic education should empower teachers to make up for lost schooling time.

The pandemic, which saw schools resort to rotational teaching and learning to adhere to safety regulations and remote learning, resulted in millions of pupils either dropping out of school or not having access to online learning resources.

The DA hosted a panel discussion on ways the department can best tilt the scales towards ensuring equal access to education for all pupils across the country.


Keith Richardson of the Principals Academy Trust, a NGO that mentors school leadership in underpriviledged areas, said teacher training should be high on the list of the department’s priorities.

“Teachers have to do more than just deliver the curriculum. They have to deliver the curriculum and catch up. Teachers are taking on grade 3 pupils who, for two years, have not done any reading. How do you start teaching grade 3s when they have all this catch up to do?”


DA shadow basic education minister Baxolile Nodada said the school dropout crisis has worsened and the department need to establish tracing mechanisms to get pupils back in the system.

Teachers should be monitored in schools to achieve high-quality teaching and learning.

“There needs to be a school monitoring evaluation committee or commissions to monitor quality teaching so you have outcomes. We don’t want to end up with a generation that will form part of the stats of youth unemployment,” said Nodada.

Western Cape education MEC Debbie Schäfer said the province is concentrating on getting the basic concepts of reading, writing and numeracy night.


DA leader John Steenhuisen said the provision of high quality education is imperative in tackling poverty and societal inequalities.

The department of social development and parents should not be exempted from taking responsibility for their children’s schooling.

“We have a department of social development. People accessing child support grants should have to produce proof that children are enrolled at school. It is in the best interest of the child to go to school,” said Steenhuisen.


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