Naptosa: Schools haven’t reached half the number of pupils with e-learning

Schools have been closed for almost two months as the country continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

FILE: Panyaza Lesufi at Soshanguve East Secondary School for the launch of the Gauteng Education Department's e-learning platform. Picture: @EducationGP/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - The National Professional Teachers' Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa) on Tuesday said schools had not reached half the number of pupils through e-learning during the national lockdown.

Schools have been closed for almost two months as the country continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Where possible, learners have been using technology to continue lessons at home, but this has not been the case for many school children.

Naptosa's Basil Manuel said the crisis had already taught education officials a number of lessons, like highlighting inequalities in society.

“We have some wonderful new programmes on e-learning, but we haven’t reached more than 30% to 40% of our learners. In fact, there are a good 70% of our learners who’ve had no assistance.”

Manuel said the outbreak had also shone the spotlight on overcrowding.

“Even when we get to the decision of sending children back, the situation will be based on how equal this will be and how safe the situation will be in every type of school. Schools and classrooms are so overcrowded and this has severely complicated the debate on what the necessary measures are that we have to put into place.”

The education ministry is expected to have a briefing later this week to hopefully announce plans about the return of the 2020 academic year.