WCED set aside R1.2 billion to catch up on work lost, due to Covid-19

The Western Cape’s Education Department (WCED) has set aside R1.2 billion for the next three years to catch up on work lost, due to Covid-19.

The programme entitled ‘Back On Track’, which was launched by the department on Thursday, is to improve learning outcomes in the Western Cape.

Earlier this year, the department released its 2022 systemic test results for Mathematics and Reading.

SCREENSHOTS - WCED: 2022 Systematic test results

‘’[The results] confirmed that during the pandemic, learning outcomes fell off a cliff. We simply cannot say that a child is receiving quality education if more than half of our Grade 3, 6, and 9, learners cannot achieve the basic pass score for Mathematics and Reading,’’ said David Maynier, Education MEC.

‘’And we expect the results of the Progress in International Reading and Literacy Study 2021, due to be released next week, to show learners across our country are facing the same challenge,’’ he added.

Maynier said the progamme will be rolled out to 333 schools, in addition to the 1 100 schools already receiving extra support in the Foundation Phase since 2022.

‘’The new schools selected will identify 126 000 learners, 8 980 teachers and 28 000 parents targeted for focussed participation, in addition to the 310 000 learners and 10 000 teachers already participating in the Foundation Phase.’’

‘’All school phases are covered, with all grades in the Foundation Phase, and Grade 4 in the Intermediate Phase, Grades 7 and 8 in the Senior Phase, and Grades 10 and 12 in the Further Education and Training Phase, targeted,’’ added Maynier.

‘Back On Track’ will use a variety of teaching, learning and support methods, both in person and online.

‘’For example, we will be taking some of our Grade 4, 7 and 8 teachers out of class every ten days, for targeted support. And our Grade 12s will participate in biweekly online afternoon sessions with expert presenters in a wide range of subjects.’’

‘’We will be applying tried and tested methods in grades where they have not previously been used. For example, where Saturday classes were previously used for matrics in preparation for their exams, Grades 4, 7 and 8 will now have #BackOnTrack classes on Saturdays,’’ he added.

Maynier said the programme will be closely monitored through the #BackOnTrack War Room, and will provide updates and feedback, and to work together to resolve challenges.

Done By: Mitchum George 


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