Education ministry executive director Sanet Steenkamp said every teacher must have an academic recovery plan in order to accommodate pupils who could not resume face-to-face classes to catch up with others.
Since the resumption of face-to-face for pre-primary to grade 3 learners last week, many schools countrywide failed to meet the Covid-19 health protocol requirements, forcing them to remain closed.
The situation could be aggravated, as grade 7 and 9 learners resume classes on Monday. Grade 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10 learners are expected to resume classes on 3 August. Steenkamp said schools with serious ablution and water challenges that could not be attended to immediately could not open on time.
“The learning that happened before will continue. Every teacher must put in place an academic recovery plan. The schools are aware that they need to catch up. We have rationalised the curriculum and at the same time to a certain percentage. We have also ensured that continuous assessment activities must take place,” she noted.
According to her, the ministry continues to monitor the situation and they are expected to meet regional directors to get a clearer picture going forward. All classes are expected to end on 18 December. There is, however, a special dispensation for all schools in the local authorities of Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Arandis where learning was discontinued due to tougher coronavirus restrictions, which lapses on 3 August.
Because children so rarely develop severe symptoms, experts have cautioned that opening schools might pose a much greater risk to teachers, family members, and the wider community than to pupils themselves. The ministry has emphasised that the return of learners is voluntary and that teachers will avail learning materials to those parents who decide to keep their children at home.
Steenkamp could not give the exact number of how many schools are unable to open due to the lack of health protocols in place. However, she said, the numbers of learners at schools are improving by the day. “There are concerns from our side in terms of pre-grade learners and their attendance at schools that are quite low. We are still getting information from the regions. It is very difficult as many are rural and remote schools,” she said.
New norm… Schools should make sure learners who could not resume face-to-face learning catch-up.
Photo: Albertina Nakale