The National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa) is calling for schools to return to full-time learning in 2022.
The organisation says the damage caused during the pandemic by rotational and online schooling, particularly to learners in early development stages has been significant.
The Department of Basic Education last week announced that a staggered calendar will be followed this year.
Pupils in the inland provinces of Gauteng, the Free State, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and North West will be the first to go back to school on Wednesday.
Learners in the coastal provinces of KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Northern Cape will return a week later on January 19.
Naptosa executive director Basil Manuel says, “Parents, schools and everybody involved needs clarity on what exactly is the way forward now in terms of schools. We know that all these other restrictions have been removed.”
“We want to know how that affects schooling because the [Basic Education] Minister [Angie Motshekga] has been very quiet. We as Naptosa believe that we need to normalise schooling, we need to get back to full-time schooling. The losses are far too great, particularly in the lower grades. Grade 3’s are battling to read,” he says.
Meanwhile, Motshekga is expected to make an announcement on Tuesday on plans for the new academic year.
On Monday, she addressed a roadshow at the Mafa Max Motloung Secondary School in Delmas, Mpumalanga.
The Minister said government would intensify efforts to encourage parents to vaccinate their children from the start of the 2022 academic year in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19 as learners return to school on Wednesday.
In the below video, Minister Motshekga says Basic Education plans to increase capacity in schools:
On Monday, a group of disgruntled parents gathered outside the main entrance of Hoërskool Theresa Park in Pretoria North, insisting that the school admit their children for the Grade 8 academic year.
Many of the parents say they applied online last year and are still waiting for a response from the district office and school.
They have accused the school of prioritizing admission for children living outside the school’s geographical area.
In the video below, some parents are calling for the online system to be scrapped: