Representatives of SA’s five teacher unions will meet with Wits University’s vaccinology professor Shabir Madhi on Friday to find out about the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on school education.
This is happening as schools in the inland provinces – Gauteng, the Free State, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, and the northwest – will reopen to teachers on Monday. Students from these provinces begin the academic year on Wednesday, while their counterparts from the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, and Northern Cape return on January 19th.
Basil Manuel, executive director of the National Professional Teachers’ Organization of SA (Naptosa), said the intent of meeting with Madhi on Friday was to receive an update “so we can talk more about schooling in 2022”.
“It’s about the modalities [Rotational Learning] that are currently in use and whether they should stay. We have our own concerns about the sustainability of the current modalities, “he said.
” We have problems with learning loss and would like to see as many of our children as possible in school. But that can only happen if we make sure that the other security measures are in place. ”
He said they were aware that the mandatory distance of one meter in the classroom is not is possible for all schools.
“We have to ask if there is still a justification for rotation classes.”
While the former Model C schools were able to re-admit all students last year as there were more classrooms and teachers, many students in free schools were still on the rotation schedule.
Madhi confirmed this will be “a meeting to share information about where we are in the pandemic and its impact on school education”.
In the meantime, the spokesman for the Ministry of Education said from Limpopo, Tidimalo Chuene, information on the percentage of schools that will continue with a regular timetable will be noc h edited.
She said that “the majority of applicants for admission were placed in schools”.
” However, there are learners, especially in our more urban areas, who have yet to be taught. Our circuit offices have been working with schools since last week to take care of unplaced learners. “
She said there were 22 storm-damaged schools that had their infrastructure team assessments and repairs had been carried out on three.
“Additional interventions are being considered for those with significant damage. This includes providing mobile classrooms if necessary.”
Mpumalanga education spokesman Jasper Zwane said there were 32,637 teaching posts for 1,671 schools. He said R105 million had been transferred to schools for personal protective equipment against Covid-19.
“Learner / Teacher Support Material (LTSM) was distributed to all schools in November / December 2021. It is mandatory that all learners have their stationery by January 12th.” < / p>
He said that 54,249 students will be provided with transportation to school, while 920,110 learners will benefit from the school feeding program at a cost of R771 million.
Zwane said a new school with mobile classrooms will be built in the Steve Tshwete district at Extension 24, while 40 classrooms are being built rn was underway in four schools in Mbombela.
On Friday, Gauteng’s Ministry of Education announced that 276,564 applicants for online admission to grades 1 and 8 had been placed during 1,465 applicants remain unplaced.
Gauteng Education Department spokesman Steve Mabona said more than 17,000 applicants failed to submit all of the required supporting documents.
“These applications are considered unsuccessful. However, the system is open to them to upload and select available schools, ”he said.
He said the department had finalized 866 appeals received since the start of the mediation period are prioritized. last year. “These appointments are the result of applicants who could not be placed at the school they wanted.”
He said the result of the appointments would be communicated until Monday to applicants. Parents still have the option to apply for a school place as the late registration process starts on January 12th.
Mabona said , the department is building more classrooms “to deal with the pressure of housing in high-pressure areas”.
The department donated R 240 million to schools for the construction of 229 classrooms in elementary schools and 270 in secondary schools.
Minister of Education Angie Motshekga will hold a press conference on Tuesday to mark the opening of the schools.