Home South Africa News Uncertainty around resumption of school causing anxiety and panic for teachers

Uncertainty around resumption of school causing anxiety and panic for teachers


As the Department of Education attempts to revive the curriculum, teachers say the national lockdown has highlighted underlying socio-economic disparities.

“We not reaching all the children. If I’m a parent and I must choose is it going to be food or data, it’s definitely going to be food. There are even children that don’t have cellphones.”

This is Lehani Nel who’s a teacher at a public high school where they’re about to roll-out a formalized online learning curriculum.

The school started sending learning materials out last week but almost a quarter of the learners could not access it.

Even grade R teachers are finding it challenging. Michelle Ferrera is one of them.

She said that she’s had to adapt to make sure no one in her class was left out.

“Some kids don’t have access to paper or kokis and all that fun stuff. So we’ve had to use things like newspapers.”

Teachers said that the uncertainty around when the school year would resume and how it would be done was also causing anxiety and panic.

The national Minister of Basic Education has repeatedly stressed that we simply can’t afford to sacrifice the year and learners and parents will have to learn under extraordinary circumstances.

Meanwhile, the Independent Institute of Education said that teaching under lockdown conditions should be geared towards learning essential skills.

The Department of Basic Education has not released an official plan for the reopening of schools but a recovery draft plan is in circulation which shows a phased-in resumption of the school year, starting on 6 May.

In a bid to continue education while learners are under lockdown at home, a number of schools have implemented measures to ensure some form of education at home can continue.

Institute Director Dr Felicity Coughlan said that there was an unnecessary notion that everything in the curriculum needed to be crammed into a specific time frame.

“The stress that people are experiencing is this notion that we have to keep up as opposed to pare back to the basics and make sure that we give focus to the basic skills around which content can always be built later.”

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Source: EWN