In a televised interview with ENCA news on Friday evening, Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, confirmed government is considering a number of ways to salvage the 2020 academic year including scrapping school holidays or combining the 2020/21 school years.
“We’ve been looking at different scenarios at what is possible under the circumstances,” explained Motshekga. “We have gone to each sector head and asked what are the safe measures that we can put in place?”
The proposal, which is being put forward to cabinet next week, looks at a number of possible scenarios to re-coup the lost days, including:
- Reducing and/or removing both the June and September holidays.
- Removing mid-year examinations.
- Curriculum adjustment for certain grades focusing only on building blocks.
- Combining the 2020/2021 school year.
“We believe we have to do whatever it takes,” said Motshekga.
Asked what the ‘worst case scenario’ would be for the school year, she said: “The phasing (of the national lockdown) goes up until June. We do hope that the phasing will start mid-April so that we can have testing taking place. Then we can save the Gr 12 and Gr 7 years and then work out the other grades gradually until June.”
She acknowledged the limitations of internet and television accessibility for many learners, stating these measures are to assist those with access, although it is not what they are counting on for the continuation of the school year.