'Rotational classroom time to continue as schools reopen'

Minister Motshekga dismisses claim that 2021 matrics will pass with just 30% mark

Basic education minister Angie Motshekga, briefing media on the opening of schools for the 2022 academic year.
Basic education minister Angie Motshekga, briefing media on the opening of schools for the 2022 academic year.
Image: Ntswe Mokoena/GCIS

Rotational timetable will continue when schools reopen on Wednesday across five provinces to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

This was announced by basic education minister Angie Motshekga on Tuesday during a briefing on the state of readiness of school the new academic year.

Schools in Gauteng, North West, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and Free State open on Wednesday.

“For this month until the next announcement, we are saying schools will remain the same especially on the rotational timetable…The fact of the matter is that Covid-19 is still very much with us and we need to continue to work together to fight it.

“We are exploring possibilities to return schools to normal as the call has been made by teacher unions, parents and schools but unfortunately we have to comply as the department of basic education with the protocols of Covid-19,” Motshekga said in Pretoria.

There have been constant calls by teacher unions that schools should now end the rotation timetable which was introduced when schooling returned under lockdown conditions.

Unions have argued that the rotation systems gives teachers less time with pupils which limits the amount of content they can cover in class at any given day.

Motshekga also used the opportunity to clear the air on the speculative statement doing rounds that 2021 matriculants will pass with just 30% mark.

“To get a bachelor pass which allows you to go to university, you must obtain at least 40% in home language. You must obtain at least 50% in four other subjects. You must pass six of the seven subjects.

“There is no 30% pass, it is just that you may have a 30% in one subject but have passed others for you to pass, the six other subjects could be A,” she said.

For a diploma pass, you must obtain 40% in your home language, get 40% in three other subjects. You can then obtain 30% in the language of learning but still pass six of the seven subjects.

For the higher certificate, you must obtain at least 40% again in your home language. You must obtain at least 30% in the language of learning like others and obtain at least 40% in two other subjects.

Motshekga added that vaccination of teachers and pupils would continue as managed by the department of health.

She said no vaccination at school would take place as the department is not yet prepared to embark on this.

“We have had lots of reports of parents saying they now hear that we are going to vaccinate their children without their permission which is a bit uncomfortable. I did explain that we will seek at all cost to make sure that we work with them and get their permission.

"But the vaccination programmes are run by health and not ourselves. If 12-year-olds present themselves at a health facility for vaccination, it is completely out of our control. But our preference would be that parents work with us to motivate and support their children to vaccinate,” she said.

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