Home News More than 60 000 pupils expected to return to school on Monday

More than 60 000 pupils expected to return to school on Monday

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The department said schools were given four options on how to conduct their schooling when the second semester commences next week

File picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

MORE than 60 000 Grade R, 6 and 11 pupils in the Northern Cape are expected to return to school on Monday July 6, 2020.

This is according to the Northern Cape Department of Education who said on Friday that the necessary preparatory work had been done to welcome the pupils back to school on Monday.

Department spokesperson, Geoffrey van der Merwe, said schools were given four options on how to conduct their schooling when the second semester commences next week.

“A total of 61 881 learners will return to school. To ensure that all schools adhere to the Covid-19 regulations and guidelines, schools were given the option to phase in pupils by using either platooning, alternating days per week, bi-weekly rotational attendance or the hybrid model. These models will not be applicable to Grade 7 and Grade 12 pupils, as they will be required to attend school on a daily basis.”

According to a presentation made in Parliament earlier this week by Basic Education Director General, Mathanzima Mweli, said the aim was to ensure that only 50% of the total pupil enrolment was present at a school at any given time.

Examples were given of how this differentiated timetabling would work.

In the first example, schools would adopt a bi-weekly rotational system where 50% of total pupils in the school would attend in one week based on their grade.

The pupils who did not attend school in the first week would then attend school in week 2.

An alternative proposal would see pupils go to school every other day based on their grade.

The third proposal, known as ‘platooning’, would see all students go to school every day, but alternating between a morning (session 1)  and an afternoon session (session 2).

The hybrid-model will use all three models.

According to the department, these models are being used by other countries as part of their fight against the coronavirus pandemic and is the only way to adhere to health, safety and social-distancing requirements.

Van der Merwe meanwhile added that schools and parents would be informed by the department when the next cluster of grades would return to school.

For the matriculants, Van der Merwe said schools had been supplied with revised study materials while other interventions had also been implemented to assist Grade 12 pupils.

“All schools received the revised Annual Teaching Plans (ATPs). These ATPs will be monitored by subject advisors, as well as the school bag audit which measures curriculum coverage and the implementation of assessment pieces. 

“Grade 12 pupils are currently engaged with interventions instituted by some schools. “Districts have distributed and mediated study guides, virtual platforms and PowerPoint presentations. Planning is underway to provide focused interventions to prepare pupils at risk for the National Senior Certificate examination,” said Van der Merwe.