A worker cleans a classroom desk of a school closed as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus in Sidon
A worker cleans a classroom desk of a school closed as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus in Sidon

Websites to keep pupils busy during forced coronavirus break

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Mar 17, 2020

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Johannesburg - With schools around the country going into a forced recess because of fears around the coronavirus outbreak, the Gauteng Department of Education said schools could close on Tuesday if there were no exams on Wednesday. 

On Sunday night, President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a national disaster and prohibited gatherings of more than 100 people in a bid to contain the spread of the virus. 

The president also announced schools would close by Wednesday. 

Gauteng Department of Education spokesperson Steve Mabona said schools could close on Tuesday if there were no examinations or tests on Wednesday. But teachers were still expected to report to school to fulfil outstanding administrative work. 

“To make up for the additional 10 days in the holidays of the first term, the school calendar for the second term will be adjusted to reduce the mid-year holidays by seven days and the third term will be adjusted to reduce the third-term holidays by three days,” said Mabona.

“The GDE has agreed on a number of steps that must be taken to ensure that education is not compromised. Each school will have a practical and comprehensive catch-up plan to be implemented,” said Mabona.

He said parents were being urged to ensure pupil’s used the recess to study.  

“Parents must note that learners need to be meaningfully occupied as this is not an extended holiday but a necessary measure to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Learners are provided with a content guideline document for both General Education and Training (GET) and Further Education and Training (FET) subjects to make up for the lost teaching and learning time,” said Mabona.

The guideline document and support material will be made available on the following link: https://education.gauteng.gov.za/

Mabona said for pupils between Grade 1 and 9, the department would implement a reading programme - for at least an hour per day. 

“Learners are expected to read passages in the Department of Basic Education (DBE) workbooks and respond to comprehension questions. They must also register at their local  community library in order to have access to a variety of reading material,” he said.

Additional material and e-content can be retrieved by learners on the following educational websites. 

1. https://skool.com
2. https://mathsisfun.com
3. https://learn.khanacademy.org/khan-academy
4. https://phet.colorado.edu/
5. https://za.ixl.com

Meanwhile, for Grade 12 pupils, Mabona said a special Matric Bookley had been designed to assist them prepare for their final examinations. 

He said the 46-page booklet was user-friendly.

“In addition, it provides study skills and examination preparation infographics that guides and motivates the learner to take responsibility for their learning and creates awareness through self-management and self-assessment techniques. 

“Other critical areas of the booklet include examination room protocol and invigilation; sourcing critical supplementary materials, specifically NSC question papers and basic techniques on how to effectively answer examination questions. 

“QR codes are attached for learners to access the DBE NSC past papers and Mind the Gap study guides using their smartphones,” he said. 

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