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End in sight for rotational school classes, education DG says

20 January 2022 - 21:13
The basic education department wants to see schooling fully back on track. Stock photo.
The basic education department wants to see schooling fully back on track. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/Cathy Yeulet

The full return to schooling for all pupils every day could be on the cards.

Basic education department director-general Mathanzima Mweli said on Thursday that the directors-general of the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (Natjoints) met earlier in the day and supported a presentation by the basic education department to this effect.

“Our recommendation is that we want to see schooling fully back on track 100% and we hope that the recommendation will be endorsed by the NCCC [national coronavirus command council],” he said.

Mweli, who was delivering a technical report on the matric exams ahead of their official release, said President Cyril Ramaphosa will meet the command council later on Thursday evening.

“The president indicated yesterday that he was looking at possibilities of relaxing the Covid-19 restrictions,” he said.

Most schools — excluding the majority of former model C schools — have been conducting rotational learning because of the adherence to the 1m social distancing requirement in the classroom.

Meanwhile, basic education minister Angie Motshekga said during Thursday’s release of the matric results that her department would be introducing a systemic evaluation study in grades 3, 6 and 9 “in order to better understand the learning trajectory from primary to secondary school.

“These initiatives will add to the current grade 12 NSC [National Senior Certificate] examination results; and give a more comprehensive picture of the impact of Covid-19 on South African schooling,” she said.

The department has taken steps towards the introduction of a general education certificate (GEC) in 2023, she said.

“The GEC is seen as an important and progressive qualification that will improve career pathing and employability and reduce dropout rates of South African youth.”

She said the GEC allows for learners after 10 years of schooling (grades R-9) to be recognised for their levels of curriculum attainment, general capabilities and talents. 

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