The Director-General of the Department of Basic Education, Mr Hubert Mathanzima Mweli, has urged provincial education officials to put emphasis on COVID-19 protocols as the winter school vacation programme resumed this week.
Since Monday, 5 July 2021, the Director-General has been visiting winter camps in the Limpopo, North-West, Free State and Eastern Cape Provinces to provide support and ensure that these critical learner support programmes achieve the intended outcomes. This year, the DBE has encouraged walk-in camps for Grades 12 and 11 learners, as residential programmes have the potential to be super spreader events.
As part of his visits, Director-General Mweli held briefing sessions with officials to gauge the status of the 2021 learner support programmes. What came out clearly is that all learners, top or moderate levels, required consistent support to achieve excellent results during the 2021 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations, considering the disruptions to schooling in 2020 and 2021. The officials therefore are optimistic that through learner support programmes, curriculum coverage will be intensified.
In his address, Mr Mweli highlighted that stringent measures should remain in place for the safety of learners and all participating staff. Mr Mweli further acknowledged the efforts of education stakeholders, at the provincial level down to the school level, for making headway in terms of fast-tracking curriculum coverage amid COVID-19 during 2020. “I would like to extend my gratitude to teachers for their hard work. Despite the COVID-19 setbacks, we have to capitalise on the 2020 lessons to do our work better this year. Where possible, provinces should share best practices to improve quality learning and teaching" added Mr Mweli.