The KwaZulu-Natal government is consulting different stakeholders on the possibility of not closing schools for the June and September holidays, to recover time lost during the 21-day national lockdown.

Premier Sihle Zikalala addressed the media on various issues relating to the impact of coronavirus in the province.

“We must indicate on this note that the department is consulting, but we don’t foresee the province having any substantive holidays should we start after this lockdown.”

“From June, I think (school programmes) education would be working in full force and during September period – the MEC is finalising modalities on that recovery (plan) and it is a plan that is going to be very intense,” explains Zikalala.

Free State education launches digital learning amid nationwide lockdown

The Free State Department of Education has launched a digital learning project in an effort to ensure that the province’s matric learners do not fall behind on their studies. The project is live on social media and seven radio stations.

The nationwide lockdown in the country has interrupted almost everything including learning and teaching. This means educators have had to find new and innovative ways of teaching, especially the matric class of 2020.

While some pupils are still enjoying their school holidays, matric learners in the Free State have resumed their studies. As the country is under lockdown, they are studying from home through a digital learning platform to ensure they do not fall behind on their studies due to the lockdown.

Some matric pupils from Bainsvlei Combined School have welcomed the help from the Department of Education.

Kobile Kobile, one of the learners, says, “There’s nothing that we can do. So, receiving our lessons like this, SABC is really helping us. We are able to do corrections. We are able to do revisions and able to ask questions. They even gave us their number so we can text them when there’s something we don’t understand,” says Kobile.

Another learner benefiting from this project is Thandiwe May. “They help us a lot, because they sometimes help us with how to answer questions and stuff. So, I think we will pass at the end,” says May.

Free State Education MEC Tate Makgoe says this is the department’s effort to close the gap caused by the lockdown. Makgoe says they hope the use of the digital platform will bear positive results.

“We are hoping that the learners will understand that education continues. Remember, they are now in Grade 12. Grade 12 is a very important year. But we are not excluding Grade 10 and 11 … are all important years. We also want to use this opportunity to talk to parents, grannies and everybody who are at home to realise that children must continue to learn. Because it is important and we must make sure that they learn,” says Makgoe.

The Department of Education is aiming to retain its No.: 1 spot in the country.

The Free State topped the country in matric results last year.

As SABC’s Palesa Moeti reports from Bloemfontein, learners can access live and recorded lessons in the form of videos: