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The Academic Sector Mohamed Kharwa 2020 the year Covid-19 made us shift in the way people learn – from online learning, e-learning to distance learning – while campuses were closed under lockdown.  We have had to shift in the way we do business factoring in the use of hand santitiser, sterilisation, social distancing and masks as well as reduced staff. The country has been in economic decline before this but now, recession combined with issues around Covid-19 will make education a key target for reduced funding. Additionally, income from taxation has been eroded, putting the economy under even greater stress. The decision to allow NSFAS students to cash out their allowances for learning material was raised at last year’s conference, […]

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Schools won’t resume in May 2020. Senior officials will start on Monday 4 May to prepare for the return of pupils. School management will go back on 11 May and teachers on the 18 May. Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says the school calendar’s been adjusted to save the academic year. Each province will have its comprehensive plan for the reopening of the schools. [Video: Minister Angie Motshekga’s speech] Image: Element5 Digital/Unsplash

Image: Harinath R/Pixabay The Department of Basic education on 18 April, announced the postponement of the May/June Matric examination. More than 350 000 part-time learners some who did not meet the pass requirements and others who want to rewrite to improve their marks will have to wait until November 2020. [Read more]

All higher education institutions (public and private universities and  TVET colleges) will remain closed under lockdown level 4. This decision was made to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus and to save the 2020 academic year but not at the expense of saving lives. The risk of an early return to 2.5 million students and staff are far too great. Minister Blade Nzimande said that the 2020 university academic year could be extended into early 2021. The 2021 academic year will align with the plans of the DBE regarding the organisation of the Grade 12 examination. TVET colleges have to re-organise their 2020 academic year. No student will be left behind. This depends on the development of the pandemic. […]

The COVID-19 outbreak has disrupted the education of children and students globally. More than 120 countries including South Africa, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands, have shut their schools.  This means that more than half the world’s student population – 1,2 billion children – are forced to stay away from school and universities because of a virus. However, schools remain open for younger children in Sweden. Singapore has halved class sizes, instituted strict hygiene measures, and staggered break periods to reduce playground contact.  During the 2014 Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone the government provided educational radio programmes to listeners five days a week while schools were closed, maintaining a link to the curriculum for the duration.  The Goodthingsguy published weblinks which Jean Parnell suggested […]

Minister of Higher education, science and technology, Dr Blade Nzimande has again reiterated that eliminating corruption and maladministration in NSFAS is a priority. Placed under administration in August of 2018 when the scheme was on the brink of collapse, in a statement made in January 2020 it was revealed that five internal forensic investigations have been launched and four criminal cases have been opened, while a further 510 instances of alleged fraud have been handed to the Commercial Crimes Unit. It is significant that much of the fraud and corruption not only benefitted a few individuals but allowed external parties to gain inappropriate control over several institutions. The administrator has outlined the positive rationale behind no longer distributing a specific […]

Some publishers have provided Higher Education book lists for trade reference. Click through to the publishers listed below: Juta, Oxford University Press, Pearson.

Visit Juta here

Visit Oxford University Press here

Visit Pearson online

Both national and international stakeholders are concerned about the Copyright Amendment Bill. Concern from Washington (United States) that the bill threatens intellectual property rights could end SA’s preferential access to the US market at a cost of R12 billion in exports. President Cyril Ramaphosa and Sports, Arts & Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa have said that the bill needs to take into account stakeholder concern and needs to be reworked. Read the full story here

Some publishers have provided back-to-school book lists for trade reference. Click through to the publishers listed below: Oxford University Press, Pearson, Shuter & Shooter Publishers

Visit OUP online

Visit Pearson online

Visit Shuter and Shooter online

The DBE is working on formalising Grade 9 as one of the exit points of schooling, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said during her address at the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union congress at the Nasrec Expo Centre on 26 September 2019. Motshekga explained that they are, ‘Dealing decisively with the quality and efficiency through the implementation of standardised assessments to reduce failure, repetition, and drop-out rates.’ They are ‘also working on the introduction of multiple qualifications such as the General Education Certificate before the Grade 12 exit qualification. The National Development Plan (NDP) aims for a “world-class assessment system” involving reliable measures of learning for every primary school.’ ‘Assessment and examination modalities for the General Education Certificate are being […]

In November the ATKV and WOW are starting with a reading relay together with LAPA Publishers and a private sponsor. Five grade 10 learners will be selected from each participating school. These five learners will each get five books to read and then give to friends to read as well. The friends then also pass the books on to their friends to read. Each time a book has been read, it is recorded and the five learners score points when their books have been read. The five learners also get five children’s books to read to younger learners in their community, for which they also score points. The five learners compete against each other for the most points, but also […]

The Council of Education Ministers has agreed to introduce Kiswahili as a subject in South African schools. According to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, ‘Kenya and Tanzania have committed to assist with the training of educators and the development of appropriate learning and teaching support materials in Kiswahili.’ A few schools in Gauteng have been identified for a pilot next year. If successful the subject will be fully implemented in 2021. President Ramaphosa pledged in his recent State of The Nation Address to introduce new technology-focused subjects to the curriculum. Coding as a subject will be piloted at 1 000 schools across five provinces in 2020. More than 43 500 teachers have been trained in computer skills and coding in […]

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