The Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training, UMALUSI, says they are aware of the damage to the country’s education system caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. UMALUSI’s CEO, Mafu Ramoketsi, says although he is well aware of the challenges, he is not in support of the lowering of academic standards.
Ramoketsi was speaking to veteran broadcaster, Putco Mafani on an online Question and Answer session.
He says people need to work together to bring about a solution.
“We sympathise with the class of 2020. There’s no doubt that COVID-19 has proven to be a game changer in terms of how we conduct our business as a sector. UMALUSI is on record that while we are concerned about the difficulties caused by COVID-19, we do not advocate for the downgrade or the trimming down of the quality of education.”
In the Eastern Cape, the Provincial Department of Education has expressed its disappointment after members of COSAS disrupted schooling in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro in Port Elizabeth.
A COSAS faction on Thursday shut schools in Zwide and Kwazakhele townships, claiming that the COVID-19 situation in the country is not conducive for learning due to the increasing number of COVID-19 infections in the Metro.
Education MEC Fundile Gade’s spokesperson, Vuyiseka Mboxela says they expected COSAS to talk to the MEC if they had a problem.
“It’s a bit of a disappointment from the side of the MEC because in our knowledge, we never sat in any meeting with COSAS and disagreed. We had expected that at least if there is a point we do not agree with them, they will come to the table and have a discussion to resolve the issue because we were of the same view that is not the way to do things. If there is anything they wish to raise with the department. The MEC’s office is always available.”
In Limpopo, at least 42 schools have not opened for Grade 7 and Grade 12 learners due to lack of water and sanitation facilities.
Learners and teachers at some of these schools have been temporarily accommodated at neighbouring schools while others remain at home.
Limpopo Education spokesperson, Tidimalo Chuene says the department is working tirelessly to ensure that schools are able to open as soon as possible.
“We have 42 schools which have not managed to open on the 8th of June to receive grade 7 and 12 learners. These schools had water and sanitation challenges and that is being addressed through our engagements with Rand Water and also DBE in terms of provision of Enviroloo and mobile toilets. In some instances, schools have made their own temporary arrangements while they are waiting for Rand Water. Engagements are also under way to have municipalities provide them with water on a regular basis.” – Additional reporting by Pimani Baloyi.
In the video below, parents in Limpopo say the Department of Education must sort out the water issues at schools.