Online School, Brainline, says it is unlikely that learners will be able to make up for lost time due to the third Covid-19 wave within traditional school structures. Last week the Department of Basic Education gazetted the updated return dates and plans for schools in South Africa, indicating that schools will reopen on Monday, 26 July 2021 for all learners (Grades R to 12) to return to school on a daily or weekly rotational timetable model. Brainline CEO, Coleen Cronje, says there has simply just not been enough classroom time for the majority of learners this year.
The recent NIDS-Cram study, conducted by a national consortium of 30 social science researchers from local universities, as well as groups like the Human Sciences Research Council and the Department of Education, projected that between March 2020 and June 2021, most primary school learners in South Africa have lost 70%-100% (i.e. a full year) of learning relative to the 2019 cohort. It is estimated that half a million learners have not returned to school since the first lockdown in March 2020.
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