GEORGE NEWS - The National Department of Basic Education cannot yet say when schools will re-open for the second term, but an exact date will be communicated later.
Minister Angie Motshekga said in a statement yesterday, 26 March, that after the lockdown announcement and after consultation with provincial departments, it was agreed to focus on catch-up programmes to promote learning and teaching at home.
"This will be in preparation for when children come back to schools."
"We urge those who raise learners with special education needs to get in touch with the department should the need arise," said Motshekga.
She said the department is very aware of the importance of keeping children safe from all sorts of dangers, including abuse and anxiety caused by Covid-19. "Do not leave them unattended, watch for signs of depression and provide ongoing support to address any anxiety at this time,” she advised parents.
“It is important that we continue to speak to the learners about the promotion of health and safety in the home by adhering to basic hygiene practises."
The different provinces' DBEs have joined hands to prepare an online and broadcast support resource with a focus on Grade 12 learners. "Some of the programmes will be available from 1 April."
The department is also working closely with key partners to coordinate and make available educational material tailored to support learners' educational and health needs during this time. The content has been carefully curated to be available online and for broadcast.
The resources available are:
- Broadcast lessons working with the SABC TV and radio;
- DSTV channel 180;
- E.tv has allocated a dedicated channel for three months on the Openview platform;
- Broadcast of lessons on community radio stations around the country;
- Electronic readers available via all platforms in partnership with Vodacom, MTN, Telkom and Cell-C.
- Free access to Siyavula Maths and Science support in partnership with MTN and free access to the Vodacom Virtual Classroom.
- 2Enable App as a freely downloadable educational platform with more than 2 000 electronic readers in the indigenous languages that promotes the African Storybook series;
- The National Reading Coalition has identified extensive lists of additional resources and organisations that are willing to make their materials available;
- The DBE website has been updated with current and relevant content including reading resources and websites. Other content that is available on websites of their partners has also been made available through links on the DBE website. Parents, teachers and learners are encouraged to visit the DBE website.
The schedule for the broadcast of the lessons is available on the DBE website as well as social media platforms. Users can tune in to any of the listed radio and TV stations to benefit from the programmes.
The DBE is also looking at the provision of the Schools Nutritional Programme during lockdown. Motshekga said it is a complex matter to resolve, especially with children at home. "We will therefore work with the Department of Social Development. Nutrition support will be provided to families in the poverty nodes which are operated by Social Development."
One member of the family will be allowed to collect a food parcel once a week during the three weeks for the use of the entire family. This is to ensure social distancing.
The DBE is also finalising a Standard Operating Procedure to provide guidance to schools and education offices on how to prepare for the re-opening of schools.
The department is in discussion with the National Treasury and all the provinces on the provision of a minimum health package to schools.
The department also welcomes commitments of support from partners such as Old Mutual, that has pledged R50-million to support the education programming.
'We bring you the latest George, Garden Route news'