Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schaefer has called for the abolition of the one meter social distancing rule in classrooms to allow all pupils to return to school.
On Tuesday the Minister for Primary Education, Angie Motshekga, said rotational learning would continue because social distancing requirements were still in place.
Your department submitted an application to the National Coronavirus Command Council last year to have the social distancing requirement lifted from 1.5 m to be reduced to half a meter. It was subsequently reduced to one meter.
Motshekga said given the decision to “live side-by-side with the virus” they will appeal to the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, which has social distancing on half a meter.
“We can’t just announce ‘voetstoots skool toe‘ to every kid tomorrow. It’s a process that we have to negotiate,” she said.
Schäfer said that about 88% of elementary schools in the province have students on rotation because they don’t meet the one-meter requirement .
“There is strong and growing evidence that the learning disabilities affecting our young people are devastating and will have long-term negative consequences.”
According to the National Income Dynamics Study Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (Nids-Cram), published May 2021, elementary school children in tuition-free schools learned 50% to 75% less than what they normally learn in 2020.
In the In 2021, significant teaching continues to lose time as a result of rotating schedules.
Schäfer said another area of concern is that many students are not being able to access the dining system as often as they should and on-off attendance contribute to a higher dropout rate.
“The um Setting a rotation model in schools is not easy. It takes dedicated planning and ongoing pressure to keep up with the curriculum while still teaching different cohorts of students on different days.”
The department has been inundated with complaints from parents demanding the termination of rotation classes demanded.
“The pandemic has changed in the last two years and we need to return to a state of normality. It is no longer justified to deprive our children of the opportunity to attend full-time school under these circumstances.”
In order to avoid a generational disaster, they turned to the national department and the department of cooperative leadership and traditional affairs to make changes to regulations and instructions.
DA’s Shadow Minister for Basic Education, Baxolile Nodada, has also called for the return of all students, saying researchers and scientists have warned of the dangers of rotating classes for primary school students.
< p>“School dropouts are on the rise as many do not return to school due to ongoing disruption. If the department doesn’t intervene, there will be an increase in early school leaving this year,” Nodada said.