South Africa: Programmes to help Mpumalanga learners

Pretoria – With only 62 days before the start of matric examinations, Basic Education MEC Reginah Mhaule has called on all Mpumalanga Grade 12 learners to continue to prepare for the end of year examinations, to stick diligently to their study timetables and to join a study group, if they are not already part of one.

She urged learners to use every opportunity available whether after school or at weekends to ensure that they are well prepared for the examinations.

This comes as teachers have joined other public servants in a nationwide strike, many schools have been affected and learners have been left in the dark regarding preparations for their upcoming final exams.

The Mpumalanga Department of Basic Education has put in place a number of programmes to help learners catch up on lost learning and teaching time. The programmes include radio broadcasts, dial-a-tutor, Saturday classes as well as newspaper supplements.

SABC’s Ikwekwezi FM and Ligwalagwala FM in collaboration with the department are broadcasting daily lessons from 2.30pm to 3pm and from 9.30pm to 10pm. The programmes will help pupils who might experience problems while studying on their own at home.

“These slots are utilised to explain difficult concepts and to enrich content knowledge. Subject Specialists are deployed to talk about various subject content material of addressing recurring problems that learners face,” explained Mhaule.

Pupils can also call +27 (0) 800-203-116 between 6pm to 10pm from Monday to Thursday for the dial-a-tutor programme where they will be linked with a subject specialist who will provide guidance on the spot.

Mhaule also urged pupils to take advantage of the Saturday classes that will also help them catch up.

The province will also introduce Spring classes which will held from 27 September to 1 October.

Pupils and schools have also been provided with previous examination question papers during the winter school programme.

“This will add impetus to our quest to cover the lost time and to improve learner performance in preparation for the exams,” Mhaule said, adding that parents should also to provide an enabling home environment for pupils to focus on their studies.

“Parents must help to motivate learners and support them all the way,” she said.

Meanwhile, the national department says schools will remain open during the strike.

Strike monitoring teams were established last week in all provinces to monitor the impact of the strike on schooling.

The monitoring teams are in constant contact with local police stations and when incidents of intimidation, damage to property or violence occur at a particular school, they will then be able to let the local station commander know for them to respond to those incidences.

An emergency helpline has also been set-up and people can call the department if the experience any incidents of violence or if no teachers have turned up to certain schools.

Parents will also be able to inform the department if there is no adult supervision in classes when their children do go to school. The number to call is +27 (0) 800 202 933.

Source –  BuaNews