Will Schools Reopen in May? Here is the Plan

There is a new plan that is proposing that matrics and students in grade 7 and 12 go back to school on May 6th. TimesLIVE saw a document, which is based on the extended lockdown being lifted at the end of the month. The document was written by a committee which comprised of heads of the provincial education departments. The paper said that the proposals are contained in the department of basic educations draft for the recovery plan after Covid-19 lockdown. 

It’s reported that the document states that the remaining grades will be phased in as an attempt to salvage the academic year. 

In the document the proposed dates are:

  • Grades 7 and 12 – May 6th
  • Grades 6b and 11 – May 20th
  • Grades 5 and 10 – June 3rd
  • Grades 4 and 9 – June 17th
  • Grades 3 and 8 – July 1st
  • And grade R – July 15th

Due to the high risk involved with large gatherings, the phased in approach is being considered by the DBE. Critical grades will start and other learners will remain at home and will begin in stages. 

Social Distancing will be a Challenge

It will be a challenge to maintain social distancing among pupils said Chris Klopper, Chief executive of the Suid Afrikaanse Onderwysers Unie. He went on to say that it is possible to save the year for grade 12 because so far only 24 school days have been lost. You will win three weeks if the June/July exams are cancelled and it is possible to find another week somewhere else. There then shouldn’t be a big problem for grade 12. 

There Will Be Change

Recently reported by The Sunday Times is that the Department of Basic Education is looking at several options to try and salvage the South African school year. This could include earlier starts, evening and weekend classes, scrapping the June and September holidays and scrapping non-essential parts of curriculums in certain subjects.

Angie Motshekga, education minister is due to make the final proposal this week in a special cabinet meeting. 

A committee is also looking at if the June exams for grades 1 to 12 should go ahead or be postponed. 

What’s Happening with the School Calendar?

With the lockdown extended until the end of April, the government has had to look at other options to save the school year. 

One such measure is that SABC is now broadcasting school lessons. These began on the 9thApril and are broadcasted across three SABC channels and 13 radio stations and includes online support.  The lessons focus on learners grade 10 to 12 as well as Early Childhood Education. Subjects covered include Physical Sciences, Maths, English First Additional Language, Accounting and Life Sciences. The early childhood development package also includes a variety of African languages. 

The Plan for Higher Education

On Tuesday, 21stApril, Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Higher Education will hold a virtual meeting to determine the impact that the lockdown has had on the higher education sector. 

Dr Blade Nzimande, minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology will present plans in the briefing from the department, universities and Technical Vocational Education and Training colleges to rescue the academic year. 

Issues that are thought to be covered in the plan are:

  1. Online teaching and learning and what will happen to the mid-term examinations
  2. Plans to rescue the academic year for universities and TVET colleges. 
  3. The impact that the lockdown has had on the National Student Financial Aid Scheme for qualifying students
  4. The accommodation of students at university residences. 

Article Source: https://businesstech.co.za/news/government/390617/a-plan-to-reopen-schools-in-may-report/