Sadtu: Basic Education must reconsider the return of additional grades

Sadtu: Basic Education must reconsider return of additional grades

The South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) believes the return of grades R, 6 and 11 to school proves the system is not ready to accommodate more pupils

schools, reopen

Pupils in the three grades returned to class on Monday in spite of concern by both parents and teachers over the surge in Covid-19 cases around the country.

Several provinces, including Limpopo and North West, indicated that grade R would only return at a later date.

Sadtu’s Nomusa Cembi says many schools were not ready to receive pupils or teachers.

"In various provinces teachers and learners were turned back due to lack of access to water, inadequate access to toilets and difficulty in maintaining physical distancing in classrooms.”

Some schools also had to remain closed due to teachers testing positive for Covid-19.

Cembi says the union wants government to reconsider the phased-in reopening for additional classes.

"It is evident that many schools do not even meet the non-negotiables such as the personal protective equipment, access to water and maintaining social distancing in classes. Many schools had to turn back learners due to lack of space in classrooms."


Meanwhile, Equal Education says it is becoming increasingly important to support learning at home and to adjust assessment expectations for the year.

The organisation says a survey indicates that 70% of pupils do not feel confident to learn on their own.

"Learners said that they found it difficult to navigate online platforms and lamented that most resources were in English and not their mother tongue.

“Around 65% of the Equalisers we spoke to said they had access to the internet at home, but around 25% of this group said they struggle with network connection problems," says the organisation’s Jay-Dee Cyster. ​


Motshekga: No more than 60% of school year can be saved

"We count on a weekly basis the time we losing and integrate it into 2021 and we will even change the calendar in 2021," Motshekga explained. "So we've accepted that we will not be able to get all we have planned or bargained for 2020."

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