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NC Education dept to “trim” 2021 school curriculum


“The Northern Cape Department of Education has put in place a number of intervention programmes to guide and support teachers.”

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THE NORTHERN Cape Department of Education will trim the curriculum for the 2021 school year and will also hold a number of catch-up programmes to make up for lost learning due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Grade 7 and 12 pupils missed out on three months of schooling while the other grades lost five months of classes due to the national lockdown in 2020.

Northern Cape Department of Education spokesperson Geoffrey van der Merwe said on Tuesday that no additional teachers would be employed for the catch-up programmes.

“All grades need additional time to deal with the curriculum planned for 2021,” Van der Merwe said.

He added that youths would be recruited and trained as education assistants in quintiles one and two schools.

“Education assistants will be orientated on curriculum and assessment, technical preparations of classrooms and laboratories and supervising homework and after-school activities. Reading and maths assistants will also be employed.”

Van der Merwe said that the Covid-19 pandemic had resulted in all grades in the Province losing out on teaching time.

“About 20 percent of the work was not covered in Grade 10 while approximately 10 percent of the syllabus was not completed in Grade 11 in the 2020 academic school year. Grade 12s completed the entire curriculum.

Intervention programmes

“The Northern Cape Department of Education has put in place a number of intervention programmes to guide and support teachers. Teacher training will be offered in identified subjects.”

Van der Merwe added that the 2021 syllabus would be trimmed but this would not affect the quality of learning.

“The annual teaching plan (ATP) will focus on the core essentials per phase, grade and subject. The trimming and reorganisation of ATPs has not diluted the depth of the content to be taught and reinforces core concepts. In order to reinforce skills, concepts and knowledge, including assessment, integration of common themes/concepts can be identified and taught throughout the various subjects.”

He said that the June examinations would be replaced with a series of control tests as part of the department’s three-year recovery plan.

“The three-year plan allows for ample catch-up and recovery time.”

Van der Merwe indicated that each school would develop its own intervention programmes based on the needs of pupils.

“The subject officials will guide teachers throughout the process.”

Van der Merwe added that support programmes included the provision of printed and electronic support material, electronic teacher and learner support and teacher training.

“The support programmes are designed to assist both teachers and learners to cope with the curriculum planned for the academic year 2021. Training will focus on problematic topics and how to integrate lost curriculum.”

He advised pupils who dropped out of school last year to apply for readmission.

“The South African and Administration School and Administration Management System automatically terminates pupils after a certain time. Pupils who wish to be reinstated should apply for admission at a particular school.”

Van der Merwe added that support would be provided by respective schools and district offices.

“Circuit managers will provide guidance to schools.”

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