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EDITORIAL | Yes, KZN’s matrics need support, but so do all other ...

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EDITORIAL | Yes, KZN’s matrics need support, but so do all other pupils

If anything, the futures of foundation-phase children will be even more adversely affected by flood-caused disruptions

Editorial

The department of basic education and its provincial counterparts began earnestly implementing a curriculum recovery plan after schooling was severely disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

At least 54% of teaching time was lost in 2020 and 22% in 2021 due to school closures, rotational classes and absenteeism. It is also well documented that in historically disadvantaged schools about 70% of learning was lost in 2020. So when all pupils started attending classes on a full-time basis from February 7, after rotational teaching had been the norm at many schools since June 2020, there was a collective sigh of relief.

But the return to normality was short-lived for the 378,692 pupils at the 630 schools in KwaZulu-Natal that were affected by the recent devastating floods. At least 124 of these schools were extensively damaged, while 101 are inaccessible after bridges and access roads were flooded and washed away. The total cost of the damage to the schools is said to be about R442.4m, which includes the cost of providing 98 mobile classrooms. Sadly, 58 pupils, including 42 from Pinetown, 10 from Umlazi and two each from the Umzinyathi, iLembe and Ugu districts, were among the 435 people who died in the floods...

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