BASIC Education Minister Angie Motshekga said on Tuesday that rotational timetabling will continue when schools reopen on Wednesday.
She was briefing the media on her department’s state of readiness for the 2022 academic year on Tuesday morning.
While many schools returned to full-time teaching in 2021, smaller schools and those with a high number of pupils have had to retain a shift system due to ongoing concerns around the Covid-19 pandemic and potential transmission.
Motshekga said she is confident the learners will be placed in schools.
“And we have to say up front that we have been able to place the majority of our learners. But provinces like Gauteng, partly Western Cape and some areas in Kwa Zulu Natal, in the urban areas like Durban, we are still dealing with some problems but provinces have assured us that they are doing everything in their power,” said Motshekga.
“We are committing by law that we are compelled to find places for every child so it is not their burden alone but we are committing that we will find places for all the learners.”
Motshekga said the department was exploring possibilities to return schooling to normal as the call has been made by some teacher unions.
“We are exploring possibilities to return schooling to normal as the call has been made by some teacher unions, parents and some schools. Unfortunately, we have to apply ourselves as education, with the protocols of Covid-19.”
The minister further said, “Traditionally, admissions take a year to process; but invariably, we find that due to a variety of reasons, admissions spill over into the ensuing year. A delay in admissions and the impact on teaching and learning occurs where this should be avoided.”
Motshekga said the rotational roster would continue while the State of Disaster was still in effect and that the number of spectators at a school event would be the only amendment so far: “The amendment is with regard to the number of spectators permitted at school sport venues.
“That is the only change that we intend gazetting once stakeholders have made their inputs.
“With regards to schooling, the situation will remain the same, especially rotational time-tabling, where it was applicable when we concluded schooling in 2021.
“The fact of the matter is that Covid-19 is very much still with us, and we need to continue to work together to fight it.
“We are exploring possibilities to return schooling to normal, but we need to do so responsibly; and to this end, we rely entirely on the advice of public health experts, through the Ministerial Advisory Committee, the National Coronavirus Command Council, and indeed Cabinet. At the right time, we will come back to report on progress being made.”
- * Inside Education