Equal Education adds voice to calls for govt to end rotational learning

The organisation said that if this did not happen, the country would be confronted with a lost generation of learners.

FILE: Grade 7 pupils at a Western Cape primary school on 1 June 2020 sit in class after schools reopened following a national coronavirus lockdown, which started on 27 March 2020. Picture: @WCEDnews/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - Equal Education has amplified calls for government to urgently abandon rotational timetables and safely reopen schools for all learners.

The organisation said that if this did not happen, the country would be confronted with a lost generation of learners.

It believes that the class of 2021 has been even more negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Equal Education has stressed that all learners must return to the classroom full-time to protect their learning as well as their mental and physical health.

The organisation said that when learners did not attend school every day, they were more likely to forget some of what they'd previously learnt and that increased the possibility of dropping out.

Equal Education's Stacey Jacobs said that the impact of these disruptions was in no way equal as learners from disadvantaged backgrounds were particularly affected because their access to printed materials, online learning resources, and other learning interventions was limited.

"The closing of schools and the rotational timetable system also deprived learners of essential safety nets such as daily access to school meals and psychosocial support or counselling services at school," Jacobs said.

The organisation has called on the Department of Basic Education to develop clear plans to end the rotational timetable system.