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Heightening learner support and readiness for the 2021 academic year

Director-General Mweli and the DBE team have commenced with various initiatives geared to monitor and support learner support programmes focussing on the entire system from Grades R-12. These include inter alia, presentations made by the DBE, Provincial and District officials providing an analysis on curriculum coverage and progress on assessment and learning outcomes on a quarterly basis. The recent visits focussed on the Spring Learner Support Programmes which started on 2 October 2021, with the North-West Province where 12 centres were visited in Ngaka Modiri Molema accommodating an average of five schools per centre. The province which followed was Gauteng with 10 centres visited and monitored on 3 October 2021, also with an average of five schools per centre across the 15 education districts. Eleven centres with an average of three schools per centre were visited and monitored on 4 October 2021, in John Taolo Gaetsiwe District in the Northern Cape Province. Chris Hani East Education District hosted the monitoring programme at the 12 centres which accommodated an average of three schools per centre on 5 October 2021. In Limpopo Province, the Mogalakwena District was visited on 7 October 2021 and 11 centres were covered with an average of three schools per centre. In Mpumalanga Province, 12 centres were covered with an average of three schools per centre on 8 October 2021. Arrangements have been made for KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape Provinces to be visited in due course.

Presentations and analysis of the term results, made by both provinces and districts indicated that the curriculum has been fully covered in the Further Education Training Band, especially in Grade 12, and that good progress had been made in demonstrating the requisite skills and competencies acquired by learners. However, major curriculum coverage gaps remain in the General Education Training Band especially in the Foundation and Senior phases. A similar worrying progression in terms of the learning outcomes was also reflected in the Foundation and Senior phases. Provinces and districts remain resolute in addressing the identified weaknesses and continue to provide support to the Class of 2021 until they finish writing the examinations. The Director-General observed that: “Provinces and Districts have provided a comprehensive package of learner support to all learners. Learners have also confirmed in our interaction with them that the support provided has made a huge difference and this has also been reflected in the analysis shared by the DBE, Provincial and District officials. We remain cautiously optimistic given the fact that the Class of 2021 had a better academic year compared to the Class of 2020”. Speaking to the learners, the DG encouraged the Class of 2021 to rise from the ashes like a Phoenix. Whilst the DG and the DBE team will round off the Weekend and Spring Learner Support Programme for the Class of 2021, engagements with Provinces and Districts on the State of Learner and System Readiness will run parallel with the aforementioned starting from 12 October 2021.

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