Home News NC Education dept to “fill in the gaps” created by Covid-19

NC Education dept to “fill in the gaps” created by Covid-19


Department says it has identified intervention programmes ahead of the 2020 examinations to assist pupils to prepare for the “last push”

File picture: Itumeleng English / African News Agency(ANA)

IN AN EFFORT to respond to the educational gaps created by the Covid-19 lockdown, the Northern Cape Department of Education has provided additional resources and programmes to assist pupils.

Department spokesperson Geoffrey van der Merwe said on Monday that Covid-19 has caused interruptions in the learning and teaching sector and those challenges needed to be addressed urgently.

He said the department has launched alternative ways of teaching and learning to address the matter and save the academic year.

“Schools, teachers and learners looked for flexible ways to repair the damage caused by the Covid-19 interruptions to learning and curriculum trajectories. Some of the ways to resolve the matter included, among others, assistance from mental health specialists (psycho-social support), radio programmes, e-learning platforms, learning support to teachers to help the weakest learners and the most vulnerable learners to catch up and weekend classes to support learners in a controlled environment,” Van der Merwe said.

He added that the department has identified activities ahead of the 2020 examinations to assist pupils to prepare for the “last push”.

“The department has developed matric intervention support programmes which will unfold in all five districts in the Province. The department’s last-push activities will include weekend lock-in sessions, Saturday Classes and Spring Schools.

“We are targeting close to 8 000 Grade 12 learners who will benefit from the intervention programmes until they sit for the 2020 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations.

“The matric intervention programmes will be district specific, targeting high-enrolment and problematic subjects.

“We have put in place all precautionary measures to adhere to the Covid-19 regulations and guidelines,” he added.

Van der Merwe said that Spring Schools will commence in about three weeks.

“We have established 24 Spring School Centres and 25 School-Based Walk-in Centres which will commence from October 23 until November 1, 2020 in all the districts. The educators are carefully selected by the department and are experts in their relevant fields.”

Van der Merwe said the Spring Schools not only aimed at ensuring that pupils get the necessary educational support before the examinations but to also assist them mentally, as well as boost their self-esteem.

“The Spring Schools will specifically focus on intense and rigorous revision and consolidation of problematic content, strengthening of answering techniques and improve learners’ ability to manage time effectively during assessment.”

He urged parents and community members to also give the necessary support to pupils.

“The Department of Education is doing all it can to ensure an improved learner performance across all grades. The department strongly appeals to parents and all school communities to continue to support their children and create a conducive environment at home to study. The active participation and involvement of parents in their children’s education is crucial, especially during this time of the year.

“All our efforts are geared towards saving the school academic year and therefore we like to appeal to parents and learners to take full advantage of this opportunity to send their child to attend the intervention programmes.

“Learners will receive the best possible support and guidance during these sessions as they prepare for their final examinations.

“We will monitor the progress of all our intervention programmes very closely to ensure that the desired impacts are made through teaching, learning and assessments,” Van der Merwe concluded.