EFF calls on Motshekga to readmit Covid-19 dropouts

It is estimated that between 150,000 and 700,000 pupils dropped out of schools over the past two years.

The EFF has called on basic education minister Angie Motshekga to ensure that pupils who dropped out of school due to Covid-19 are readmitted. File image
The EFF has called on basic education minister Angie Motshekga to ensure that pupils who dropped out of school due to Covid-19 are readmitted. File image
Image: SAMORN TARAPAN/123rf.com

The EFF has called on basic education minister Angie Motshekga to ensure that pupils who dropped out of school due to Covid-19 are readmitted.

This comes after the basic education department on Tuesday revealed that up to 700,000 pupils had dropped out over the past two years.

The department estimates that between 150,000 and 700,000 pupils dropped out of school due to Covid-19 disruptions.

In a statement, the EFF said the huge dropouts were due to “the directionless leadership within the department”, worsened by rotational timetabling and lack of adequate support for educators and pupils.

The party said it was concerned that the department had not outlined plans to ensure that pupils who left the education system were readmitted.

According to the EFF, the department does not have concrete plans in place for a less disruptive 2022 academic year under the current Covid-19 conditions.

“There must be a continued focus on keeping pupils and educators in safe classrooms by observing all Covid-19 protocols and providing sufficient PPE [personal protective equipment].

“Rotational timetabling and remote learning has exacerbated existing educational inequalities and has been detrimental to the educational attainment of poor and working-class pupils,” said the EFF.

The EFF also called on the department to ensure that pupils who have not been placed are done so without delay.

According to department's deputy director-general for planning, Simone Geyer, about 400,000 pupils remained unplaced due to late applications

“The admission crisis of approximately 400,000 learners who have not been placed in any school will further exacerbate educational inequalities, increasing poverty and illiteracy.

“The EFF calls for the end of rotational timetabling with immediate effect and for the education department to prioritise vaccination education among educators and learners to enable full-time learning in all schools,” said the EFF.

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