May 2020 1st Edition

2020 School year won't be lost

Written by: More Matshediso

Virtual learning, support material and plans for post-lockdown catch-up are some of the ways that South African learners are being enabled to complete 2020’s curriculum.

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has partnered with the SABC to launch a multi-media learner support initiative, which will be available to learners throughout 2020. 

The COVID-19 learner support initiative was launched less than two weeks into the lockdown, in the beginning of April. It is part of efforts to prevent a total loss of the school year.

“The programme broadcasts across three SABC TV channels and 13 radio stations, with online support. The series provides curriculum support lessons to learners in grades 10, 11 and 12 and early childhood development (ECD),” the department says. 

Some of the subjects covered are mathematics, physical science, English, life sciences and accounting. A number of African languages are also covered in the ECD phase. 

Additionally, the department says the initiative will provide learners with relevant support material to prepare for mid-year examinations. 

Learners are encouraged to check when their local radio station will air the support programmes.

SABC Chief Operations Officer Ian Plaatjies says the initiative is supported by a YouTube channel, which allows learners to watch the content as many times as they want. 

Gauteng interventions 

To complement the national department’s efforts, the Gauteng Department of Education has instructed all schools in the province to come up with a practical and comprehensive catch-up plan to be implemented post the national lockdown.

Spokesperson Steve Mabona says to make up for time lost, the school calendar for the second term will be adjusted and the length of school holidays will be reduced.

During the nationwide lockdown, learners were provided with a content guideline document and other education material for both general education and training and further education and training subjects to enable them to independently study at home. 

The guideline document and support material are available on and can be accessed by searching School Curriculum. 

Parents and learners are also encouraged to use the curriculum-based activities in workbooks (Book 1) produced by the DBE in the following subjects:

  • Mathematics – grades 1 to 9;
  • Languages – grades 1 to 6;
  • Life skills – grades 1 to 3.
  • In all other subjects, including maths and languages, learners must use the relevant textbooks.

 In addition to the activities, learners can access online programmes such as:

Mabona says access to additional material and E-content can be retrieved by learners on the following educational websites:

Matric 2020

 This year, the department has designed a Matric booklet to assist Grade 12 learners to prepare thoroughly for the 2020 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination. 

Mabona says the booklet is a 46-page user-friendly publication that guides Matrics on the pass requirements for an NSC, including policy amendments and implications and learner concessions.

In addition, it provides study skills and examination preparation infographics that guide and motivate learners to take responsibility for their learning and creates awareness through  self-management and self-assessment techniques. 

Other critical areas of the booklet include examination room protocol and invigilation; sourcing critical supplementary materials, specifically NSC question papers and basic techniques on how to effectively answer examination questions. 

He says the book will be availed electronically on under School Curriculum, and a guideline on how the book can be utilised more effectively by learners is also available. 

“It is advised that parents familiarise themselves with the guideline and the booklet,” Mabona says.

TV schedules

  • SABC 1: Monday to Sunday from 5am to 6am 
  • SABC 2: Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 11am
  • SABC 3: Monday to Friday from 6am to 7am

Radio slots 

  • Umhlobo Wenene FM: 2:30pm - 3pm
  • Thobela FM: 5pm - 6pm
  • Phalaphala FM: 3:30pm - 2pm
  • Munghana Lonene FM: 2:30pm – 3pm
  • Ukhozi FM: 9pm – 10pm
  • Lesedi FM: 4:15pm - 5:45pm
  • Ligwalagwala FM: 9:10am - 9:40am
  • Motsweding FM: 7pm - 7:30pm
  • Ikwekwezi FM: 10:30am – 11am
  • Radio Sonder Grense: 7:30pm – 20pm
  • Tru FM: 9am – 11am
  • X-K FM: 9:30am – 10am
  • Radio 2000: 11:30am – 12pm
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