Basic education minister Angie Motshekga has announced that her department will scrap mid-year matric exams to give students more time to complete the curriculum.
Answering questions in a parliamentary portfolio committee on Tuesday (1 June), Motshekga said it was important to keep matric students in class as much as possible to ensure that they are ready to write.
Motshekga said that this year’s Grade 12 students would have only returned to school in July 2020 due to the Coivd-19 pandemic, with as much as 60% of teaching time lost.
“The normal assessments which they do during the middle of the year, normally referred to as June exams, will not take place instead the time will be used for teaching and learning,” the department said in a separate statement.
“This group has never written matric before so this is part of their final year exams preparation.”
The department said that the current matric class of 2021 have been hit hard particularly hard as they didn’t finish the syllabus of 2020 and yet schools started late for the academic year 2021.
To recoup some lost curriculum time, these students also didn’t have a holiday in the last school recess, it said.
It comes as the cumulative number of Covid-19 cases identified in South Africa moved to 1,675,013 with 5,782 new cases reported over the past 24 hours.
This represents a 12.7% positivity rate- we will be monitoring this increase in positivity rate to see if it sustains and meanwhile urge all citizens to remain vigilant and adhere to non-pharmaceutical interventions, even if vaccinated, the government said.
The government reported 110 Covid-19 related deaths overnight, taking the total to 56,711 deaths in the country.
The Department of Basic Education also issued directions that provide clarity on the date of the return of all learners in primary schools. Motshekga signed the directions in a Government Gazette published on Friday Friday (28 May).
In terms of the directions primary school learners (Grades R to 7) must return to the daily attendance and traditional timetabling model from 26 July 2021.
Based on a risk-adjusted differentiated strategy, schools for learners with special education needs (Grades R to 12) must also return to the daily attendance and traditional timetabling model from 26 July 2021.
According to the current 2021 school calendar, the Second Term ends on 9 July and schools will reopen for the Third Termon 26 July 2021.
A risk-adjusted differentiated strategy means an approach to school attendance that is determined by the direction the Covid-19 pandemic is taking in the district municipality and country.
The gazette also states that where practicable, a primary school, a school for learners with special education needs that returns to the traditional timetabling model and school hostels must comply with social distancing, minimum health and safety measures on Covid-19.