East Cape education department in talks for televised lessons

Head of the provincial education department Themba Kojana.
Image: File

The Eastern Cape education department is preparing for home learning that may include televised lessons.

The term ends early on Wednesday because of the coronavirus.

Provincial education department spokesperson Loyiso Pulumani told DispatchLIVE on Tuesday  talks with SABC and MultiChoice to offer lessons to pupils at home were under way.

In a nationally broadcast address to the nation on Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa said schools would remain closed until after the Easter weekend in April.

Phulumani said: “We have been in discussions with our curriculum heads on some of the interventions we will have to support the children at home during this closure period.

“These (televised lessons) are some of the things we are still planning.

“The department will make sure that the pupils go home with work books and all other additional resources that are available, including study guides. We are also considering additional support mechanisms in the form of DVDs and audio books that they can use at home with parents’ support.”

He said the department had  approached SABC and MultiChoice to “see if we can’t have televised lessons. All of these avenues are up for consideration but we will communicate this through the (education) command centre.”

A communication centre to update teachers and parents daily  had been established, Pulumani said.

“Teachers should expect communication from the department on a daily basis.”

Pulumani urged parents to get involved with home teaching as this would be in line with the ambitions of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR)

“On the one hand we want to talk about how they can keep themselves safe at home and on the other hand we want to encourage parents to be participants so that children are not left to just roam around the streets.”

Department superintendent-general Themba Kojana urged parents to ensure pupils continued to read and write for three hours every day.

“We would like our learners to continue reading and writing and so not lose the important learning gains made in the first school term of this year,” he said.

Foundation phase and primary school pupils were to take their books home with them on Wednesday, Kojana said.

All Grade 7 to 12 pupils should be allowed to take their textbooks home with clear instructions on which sections to read, and which assessment tasks to complete.

“Pupils in these grades should read 30 to 50 pages a day and write 200 to 250 words a day.

“All pupils should be given two to five reading books, magazines or library books to take home for reading pleasure.”

Provincial transport MEC Weziwe Tikana-Gxothiwe said under normal circumstances children attending school in the urban centres or in other provinces would make their way home for the holidays, but with the coronavirus now on the Eastern Cape’s doorstep, this might not be the case.

“We’d like to call on our people to co-operate with the strict government measures to try to limit the transmission of the coronavirus. If it’s not essential for the children to travel, let them stay home.

“Let’s not gamble with their lives by doing that. We’ll also spare them from the possibility of road crashes that have also claimed dozens of lives daily.”

By Bhongo Jacob

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