South Africa: School Holiday Cancellation 'Not Concrete', Says Sadtu

Suggestions that school holidays may be scrapped for the remainder of the year to make up for lost time are not concrete, says Sadtu general-secretary Mugwena Maluleke.

"There are many ideas floating around and we will be engaging with the education department on those ideas as well as sharing our own ideas," Maluleke told News24.

On Friday, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said one proposal under consideration by the department was cancelling school holidays to regain time lost in the 2020 academic year.

Even before the lockdown started last month, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced schools would be closed to deal with the coronavirus outbreak. With the lockdown extended to 30 April, schools will have been closed for more than six weeks.

Motshekga's spokesperson, Elijah Mhlanga, said the department supported Ramaphosa's implementation of the lockdown to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He added a team of experts was currently working on a plan on how schools would eventually be reopened. The team will also determine when some or all schools would reopen once the lockdown is lifted.

Maluleke said there was ongoing engagement between the union and department, including ways to adjust the school calendar as well as changes that might be needed in the assessment of pupils.

Also under discussion was how best to manage the process of pupils returning to school, their screening and how to manage different age groups, he added.

"A class of 25 Grade 10 learners is very different, when it comes to managing social distancing, than a class of Grade R learners. At the Grade R level, touch is very important for development," Maluleke said.

He added discussions would also need to include higher education institutions to determine what assessment processes could be used.

Source: News24

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