Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says 10% of learners from Grade 1 to Grade 11 cannot be accounted for following the reopening of schools since the beginning of the lockdown.

The Minister was answering a question on how many learners have not returned to school during a virtual social cluster oral reply session in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).

Motshekga says, “It could be that some parents have already decided that they are going to wait for next year. And the other thing which has been difficult is the timetable that we are using because kids come this week, the next week they are not coming.”

In other instances, they have to rotate. They come Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday is another class. So, even then it’s been quite difficult to monitor. But I can say, chair, that indeed we estimate that between Grade 1s and Grade 11, there is 10% of learners that we cannot account for. It could be that they are waiting to re-register.

“They thought that after waiting for too long they would have lost a lot of days, therefore they will just repeat a Grade or let’s says parents are homeschooling. We are not sure. We will have a definite number. We can also share with members of parliament, now that we write exams,” she adds.

‘COVID-19 positive matric students will write exams’

Minister Motshekga has confirmed that matric students who have tested positive for COVID-19 or those showing symptoms will be allowed to write their National Senior Certificate exams.

She told MPs that after appeals to her department and assistance from other stakeholders, all matrics will write their final exams regardless of their health status. Matric exams started on Thursday last week.