SCHOOLS that were using the rotational learning timetable in 2021 will continue to do so in the 2022 academic year, according to the Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga. Rotational learning works by learners being divided into groups and they attend school on different days.
Motshekga was speaking at a media briefing where she detailed the department’s reopening readiness plan for schools on Tuesday.
“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,” she said.
The Minister promised that she would inform the public once progress has been made.
Motshekga said there was a decline in the number of schools closing due to Covid-19 last year. The same was expected this year as the DBE will continue to implement recovery programmes.
According to the DBE calendar, inland schools are reopening on Wednesday, January 12. These are schools in Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Free State and the North West.
Coastal schools will reopen on Monday, January 19. This includes schools in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu Natal and Northern Cape.
“We really need to work together to reboot the system, and get it back on track again,” she said.
The schools admissions crisis was among the minister’s growing concerns. Motshekga said Gauteng is experiencing challenges.
“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,” she said.
She implored parents and guardians to accept the schools in which their learners are placed.
Motshekga revealed the vaccination of learners is postponed until January this year. However, vaccination sites are open for education personnel.
“Late last year, the Department of Health announced that vaccines were available for young people aged 12 years and above. We could not run the programme in schools at the time, as the sector was seized with end-of-the-year assessments and examinations. We decided to defer the vaccination of learners to January this year.”
Motshekga has discouraged the spreading of misleading information about the NSC pass requirements.
“All that needs to be said is that 30% is not a pass mark in this country. If a candidate gets an aggregate of 30% in all subjects written, the candidate will surely fail. There are myths, which are being repeated year-after-year, almost by the same people on this matter. It is unfortunate and disappointing,” said Motshekga.
On Tuesday her department issued a statement announcing that matric results will no longer be published in media publications.
This is in line with the with the Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013 (Act No. 4 of 2013) (the POPIA) which came into effect on I July 2021. The POPI Act was put in place for the protection of private information.
According to Motshekga, registration for the 2022 matric rewrite examinations started on 01 October 2021, and will close on 15 February 2022, giving learners a month for registration. The mid- year exams will start on 09 May 2022, and end on 23 June 2022.