One of the biggest challenges facing the world today is gender inequality and South Africa is no to be left out. For several reasons, one,…
Recently the Department of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga announced that on Monday 1st June 2020 only scholars in grades seven and twelve will be returning back to school.
The question remains however of what will happen to the pupils of in other grades? What is the education plan for them? Do they stand to miss out on the 2020 Academic Year?
We took to the streets to get input from the learners and their parents on the impact of lockdown concerning their schooling.
They expressed concern and fear about the state of their future, stating that those not in grades seven and twelve are scared of the possibility of repeating the same class. They recommended that instead of the non-attendance of class whilst staying at home, that they be allowed to return to class wearing face masks. Or if the lockdown continues that they continue to be educated through WhatsApp school groups and submit their homework and class work the same way.
According to one parent, the method of a WhatsApp group works for children of a friend of hers who continue to have extra weekend classes with their tutor and in lieu of no week schooling. The method has been adopted to substitute the daily school curriculum lessons for a group of learners.
Another working example is an initiative of a Grade 12 Physical Science student in the Limpopo province, who conducts self-tuition using text book experiments in preparation of the oncoming year-end Matric examinations. She exerts herself because she says that in her area to date, there are no measures in place to prepare them for the year end scheduled external Matric examinations. In-spite of the challenges she remains determined and prepared to pass.
For most of these youngsters they express the dire situation of being stagnated.”Basibuyisel’ emuva, basmoshela impilo.”
For university students though it seems that their institutions have adjusted well to the no class attendance. The lockdown requirement has substituted lectures to online internet lessons, particularly at night time as data is cheaper especially for submitting assessments. For their May-June 2020 exams they will be writing, albeit online and some with a lesser load of modules than they would normally have. Also, the exam writing set-up has changed. For example, they write three modules instead of the original five, with the remaining two resheduled to a later examination time during 2020 and early 2021.
However, this positive adaptation is reportedly not without challenges of data network and electricity power interruptions in the community where the students live.
Asked about the possibility of being passed on to a higher grade without proper assessment, most of these children prefer to earn their progression to the next grade by passing tests and examinations.
For the sake of the children, their pride, hope and dignity we do hope and even urge the government, that the policy makers, in particular those in the Department of Basic Education to heed the concerns and suggestions of the students for the betterment of their lives and future.
Dumi Mkhabela Soweto Sunrise News