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Equal Education calls for an end to rotational learning in schools

School desks are arranged to allow for social distancing. Picture: Courtney Africa/African News Agency (ANA)

School desks are arranged to allow for social distancing. Picture: Courtney Africa/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jan 21, 2022

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Equal Education (EE) urges the government to urgently abandon rotational timetables and safely reopen schools for all learners.

The organisation says the rotational timetable posed a challenge to the matric class of 2021.

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“The matric class of 2021 lost more than half of teaching time in their Grade 11 year. This was because schools were closed for long periods and because rotational timetables were implemented when schools reopened. When learners don’t attend school every day, they are more likely to forget some of what they previously learnt, which then makes the possibility of dropping out higher,” said the organisation.

Last week Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said rotational learning would continue in schools across the country due to the one-metre social-distancing requirement.

“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 the Cabinet,” she said.

According to EE, the impact of these disruptions was greater for learners from disadvantaged backgrounds because their access to printed materials, online learning resources and other learning interventions was limited.

The organisation urges the DBE to develop clear plans to end the rotational timetable system and return all learners across the country to school full-time.

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