The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has expressed concern that many primary schools around South Africa still plan to have rotational timetables next year.
The arrangement means that children will be going to school every second day or every second week.
This, despite the Basic Education Department saying that schools should have primary school children attend lessons every day.
The SAHRC’s Andre Guam says they’re worried about the long-term effects of rotational learning on children.
Gaum says, “Rotational learning has long-lasting negative effects on learning outcomes for children, and as the ministerial advisory committee’s advice to the Minister states that the harms of learners attending school on a rotational basis, specifically the severe cognitive, nutritional and social costs exceed the benefits of reduced COVID-19 infections from smaller class sizes.”
In August, the majority of Primary Schools in the Northern Cape were not able to return to operating at full capacity.
The Provincial Department of Education said that not all schools can meet the necessary COVID-19 protocols to accommodate all pupils at once.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, most schools have been operating with a differentiated timetable, but they are now expected to return to the traditional daily school timetable model.
In the video below, SABC News’ Neria Hlakotsa reports that only 79 out of 400 primary schools were able to open: