The public broadcaster and the Department of Basic Education have launched a COVID-19 learner support initiative in an effort to limit the impact of the lockdown on the school calendar.
The multimedia learner support initiative, the SABC and the DBE said in a joint statement, is part of the broader efforts to prevent the total loss of the school year, since the lockdown was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Schools have been closed since 18 March 2020. The lockdown is expected to be lifted at midnight on 16 April. The educational programme is scheduled to start on Thursday, 9 April and will broadcast across three SABC TV channels and 13 radio stations, with online support.
“The series will provide curriculum support lessons to learners in Grades 10, 11 and 12 and Early Childhood Development (ECD). Some of the subjects covered include Maths, Physical Sciences, English First Additional Language, Life Sciences and Accounting. A variety of African languages are also covered under the ECD basket,” read the statement.
The SABC and the DBE said the initiative is also launched in anticipation of the mid-year exams, which were scheduled for June 2020. “The campaign will be providing learners with relevant support material they need in order for them to walk into those exam rooms knowing they have received the support and information they need to tackle the exams with confidence.
“Learners are encouraged to check their local listings for the exact slots for radio,” read the statement. The SABC and the National Department of Basic Education created the campaign to be the daily source of information and the central shared hub for learner support.
“We invite learners to take full advantage of these resources, as we believe they will assist them a great deal during this lockdown period to catch up with their school work and better prepare for the upcoming exams in the year,” said SABC chief operating officer, Ian Plaatjes.
This multimedia initiative is supported by an online YouTube channel. “If we learn by repetition, learners will have ample opportunity to watch the content as many times as they want,” Plaatjes said. The DBE welcomed the commitments and support from the public broadcaster to support educational programming during this time of the lockdown.
“Our learners need all the support they can get in order to continue learning at home, as schools are closed because of the pandemic. We should all do our best to minimise the impact of the disruptions caused by the crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mathanzima Mweli, the director-general of the Department of Basic Education.