Boot camp, extra classes, spring school to help KZN matric pupils
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DURBAN - THE matric class of 2021 that has battled disruptions and lockdowns due to Covid-19 are undergoing a rigorous preparation regime that includes holiday boot camps, extra classes and weekend learning programmes.
This is according to the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education which said the preparation for Grade 12 pupils was designed to ensure they were ready for their trial exams next month.
According to the KZN Education Department, this year’s trials will start on September 1, with the final exams to start on November 1.
Department spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said they had the same package as the previous year to ensure that pupils were fully prepared.
Mahlambi said this included Saturday classes, which were already under way in many schools in KZN.
“We have also started with morning and afternoon classes, and other schools have extra classes on Sundays. What we are also going to be having is spring classes.
“When others close for September, matrics won’t close because there is a programme that has already been set for them,” Mahlambi said, adding that the department already had boot camps that were similar to the winter classes. He said the department would be ensuring that all the boot camps complied with Covid-19 regulations.
Anthea Cereseto, chief executive of the Governing Body Foundation, said taking into consideration what this year’s matric pupils had been through in the past two years, it was important for everyone to play their role in preparing the class of 2021 for their exams.
Cereseto said this year’s cohort had had it tough in both their Grade 11 and 12 years due to Covid-19 disruptions and lockdowns. But Cereseto said she believed the pupils, teachers and the department were ready for the exams.
“Schools have worked very hard through extra classes,” said Cereseto.
She urged parents and guardians to limit or stop giving Grade 12 pupils chores at home in order to allow them to focus more on their exam preparations.
General secretary for the National Association of School Governing Bodies Matakanye Matakanya said everyone should play their role to support the pupils. Matakanya said that since the department and teachers had put measures in place last year during the same period, he did not think there would be any difficulties in making this year’s exams a success. “We believe that our pupils are ready and the department will be able to assist them to ensure they are ready. As a support structure, we will be supporting the pupils, teachers and the department in ensuring the success of the exams.”
Nomarashiya Caluza of the SA Democratic Teachers Union said they would be closely monitoring the final exams and the marking of scripts. Chaluza said that unfortunately the union could not say that the pupils were ready.
She said there were a lot of schools that had a shortage of teachers and a staff shortage posed a serious problem in several schools, as many teachers were testing positive for Covid-19 and had to go into quarantine.
This, she said, affected teaching and learning.
“At the end, when you talk about exams, pupils have to be taught effectively in all schools to ensure that they do well. Unfortunately for us as a union, we are not in a position to have confidence that our pupils are ready for trial and final exams,” said Caluza.