More than 739k learners absent from WC schools on Friday, despite SANTACO stayaway ending

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has urged parents to send their child to school on Monday, as the SANTACO taxi stayaway has ended.

MEC, David Maynier said 739 569 learners and 5533 teachers were absent from school on Friday. At the height of the strike, 852 259 learners stayed at home from school, which is 71% of learners in the Western Cape.

PICTURE; Pixabay

Maynier said learner and teacher absenteeism dealt a devastating blow to education and its efforts to recover learning losses due to COVID-19.

‘’We appeal to parents to please send their children to school on Monday. All schools are open today and we are ready to welcome them.  We need to catch up on the curriculum and prepare appropriately for assessments and examinations,’’ said David Maynier, Western Cape Education MEC.

‘’#BackonTrack programmes were also disrupted. This past weekend, tutoring programmes catering for over 14 000 learners had to be cancelled because of the minibus taxi strike.’’

The #BackonTrack programme is aimed at providing extra lessons to learners to recover the learning losses experienced as a result of the pandemic.

‘’The closure of schools, and the subsequent phased approach to the school timetable, resulted in a decline in learner performance across many grades. The Western Cape has therefore invested R1.3 billion over a three-year period to improve results. Following the disruption this week, this has taken us one step backwards – and sadly, it is the learner that suffers as a result,’’ said Maynier.

‘’But we will not remain defeated. It will strengthen our resolve and commitment to support our schools and drive our recovery programme even harder. This kind of commitment and dedication was evident this week, with thousands of educators showing real concern and anguish for their learners over the loss of teaching and learning time. Matric teachers were especially concerned about their learners, as Grade 12’s only have 80 days left until their National Senior Certificate examinations. Every day counts at this stage!,’’ added David Maynier, Western Cape Education MEC.


Done By: Mitchum George


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