Too early to scrap academic year - education expert

Too early to scrap academic year - education expert

Educational specialist Professor Mary Metcalfe believes it is too early for South Africa to abandon the academic year.

Empty School

Schools were closed by the government nearly a month ago as one of the measures to curb the outbreak of coronavirus.

READ: Concern over Covid-19 cases at private hospitals


It was supposed to reopen after the Easter weekend, but President Cyril Ramaphosa has since extended the lockdown until the end of April.


This has led many parents to wonder if the school year would be abandoned.  


"It is definitely, in my view, premature to say we have lost the year,” says Metcalfe.


“The education minister is determined that we have to save as much of the year as possible. And we do know that we have lost so far is about 10% of the school days that are available to us."


She says the department is now faced with the mammoth task of designing a catch-up plan for pupils when schools reopen.


"We know that the minister has said that she does not have unrealistic expectations that the average family will keep up with the home learning requirements. The department is trying to create learning opportunities and I believe families need to make use of those but not to think this will replace schooling."

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