The realities of the 2020 matric year

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Minister of Education, Angie Motshekga. File photo.

To be in matric is one of the celebrated years for any school going kid and their parents. It is the year that requires a considerable effort from all students with the aim of achieving excellent grades so that they can successfully enrol for their chosen choice of studies at their preferred academic institution. This year had instantly turned their curriculum upside down. The schools had to close earlier for their first term break in anticipation that this Covid-19 VIRUS will be contained.

Since then it has been clear that the infection numbers are increasing and there is nothing that is preventing the surge. This, to me, was clear that schools are not going to reopen soon, because both parents and various key stakeholders were genuinely worried about their children’s health. As the country was experiencing this surge, all of us as citizens we had a responsibility to support the flattening of the curve. It was evident most of our rural, and township schools were unready, and this has forced postponement of schools reopening.

The continued closure of schools will therefore compel all of us to rethink our schooling system post the Covid-19 virus. According to my observation the future of our schooling system depends on what is being done now to ensure the benefit of this year’s matric class. I am more certain a more effective way to handle the remaining schooling year will be achieved.

To a great degree, this is time for digital transformation, and we need to ensure as a department of education that all schools are ready to benefit from this present-day reality. This, therefore, calls for an urgent upgrade of both rural and urban, especially township school infrastructure for the possible betterment of all our students. I am confident and inspired that this is possible, the Gauteng province has set off on this journey and it has produced good results.

Let us as parents and the department embrace Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for our schools and the foreseeable future of our children.