The Department of Basic Education has adapted to meet the challenges brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says the June 2021 examinations will be scrapped and replaced with controlled tests during the year.
She says this is one of the things that will be done differently in 2021 as a result of the lessons learnt from the 2020 school year, which was badly affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Minister says the time that would have been set aside for the June exams will now be used as additional teaching time.
“Ongoing collaborations with partners such as the National Education Collaboration Trust will ensure that content produced for television and radio stations, internet and, mobile applications continue to be developed and improved for learners to watch after school or on weekends,” the Minister says.
She adds that the department’s curriculum branch is developing teaching plans that will address teaching overload, among other things. The Minister explains that the plans are part of a three-year recovery plan, which will address learning losses incurred from the 2020 academic year.
“Redundant content and concepts will be omitted from the curriculum.”
There will also be more focus and emphasis on formative assessments to ensure that meaningful teaching takes place.
Rolling out ICT
To ensure that the rolling out of ICT in schools continues, the Minister says various initiatives are being employed, including:
- 4 697 mainstream schools received ICT solutions and the roll out of ICT in 447 special schools is underway.
- Offline solutions with intranet are being rolled out in areas with poor or no internet connectivity, through the Department of Basic Education's e-Library solution and other initiatives from partners like the Thabo Mbeki Foundation.
- Virtual classrooms/online schools have been established through partnerships to reach remote learners.
- Electronic Communications Service licensees are in the process of zero rating local education content websites; 365 applications have already been processed.
- The department has trained and placed 100 000 e-cadres in schools.
- The Department of Communications and Digital Technologies will establish virtual classrooms in 76 districts, offering live and recorded lessons. Pilot projects have started in 16 schools.