Throwing the book at lost teaching time

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

KwaZulu-Natal education department officials have saluted parents, teachers and pupils who heeded the call to support the catch up voluntary recovery programme.

The province has 6016 schools and by lunch time yesterday 4769 schools had opted to go back to classes early.

Only semiprivate or former model C schools have not yet gone back to class.

Unionists and education officials were confident that these schools had already put in place a catch-up plan and were on schedule in covering the curriculum.

Education department spokes- man Christi Naude said: "We are pleased that so many schools chose to participate to make up for time lost.

"This is not a one-size-fits-all programme and we are confident that the schools that remain closed will put in place their own recovery programme if they haven't already done so.

"Overall we must congratulate our teachers, parents and pupils for going back in such large numbers," he said.

When Sowetan visited Phambile High School in Rossburgh, south of Durban, classes were in full swing.

Grade 12 pupil Langeni Mhlongo, 17, was upbeat and said he and his friends were happy to be back at school. He said he wanted to study civil engineering at university next year.

"As a science pupil I have been worried that my dream was going to be shattered. It was very hard to study alone at home," he said.

Mhlongo said all their teachers had been back since Monday.

Grade 11 pupil Akhona Ngcizela said: "I'm so impressed by the teachers' contribution. This shows that they really care about our education."

School principal, Thuladu Khumalo, said the pupils were all back at school.

"Our syllabus was badly affected by the strike. But this recovery plan will work and needs ongoing commitment by us and the pupils," she said.

"The attendance of the teachers is also very good. We added on an extra period to our normal working days," she said.

Ntombi Soshogaye, a parent, said lack of recognition had forced teachers to go on strike.