Important to create a safe and stable environment for learners amid changes in reopening of school dates
Home Educator Provider Brainline, says amid the changes in the reopening of schools as announced this week by the Basic Education Department, it is of the utmost importance to create a safe and stable environment for learners.
Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshega, announced that only Grade R, 6 and 11 will return on Monday, 6 July. Reasons for the decision were based on reports submitted by the Council of Education Ministers. Brainline CEO, Coleen Cronje, says learners are being affected by the uncertainty over their future.
‘It is understandable that the Department adopted an attitude of rather being safe than sorry, however, learners are becoming more anxious than ever about the future of their academic year. The onus, therefore, rests on the Department, schools and parents to relay these fears and to assist learners to deal with growing anxiety,’ she says.
Pupils in Grades R, 1, 2, 3, 6, 10 and 11 were expected to return to classrooms on 6 July, joining their peers in Grades 7 and 12, who returned on 8 June, after being away for more than 10 weeks due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, according to the amended regulations grades, 3 and 10 are expected back on 20 July, while pupils in grades 1 and 2 will return to school a week later on 27 July Grade 4 and 9 children will go back on 17 August. The final cohort of pupils to return to schools will be those in grades 5 and 8 on 31 August.
‘We have noted reference by the Department around new proposed timetabling models and fundamental curriculum elements to focus on per grade for the available time left in the academic year. The Department needs to ensure that it communicates clearly and urgently around examinations and assessments for the rest of the year as hundreds of thousands of learners are being affected by the new developments,’ she says.
Cronje says Brainline has put measures in place to ensure both parents and learners are emotionally supported.
‘Many learners are unsure whether they will be able to complete their current academic year or if they will have to repeat the year. The uncertainty about their academic future is having a very negative affect on both learners and parents. We are currently offering regular online sessions with a clinical psychologist to assist families with these challenges. It is important to provide families with a solid support structure as they are confronted with unconventional challenges,’ she says.
Cronje says in light of the latest developments, home education as a viable alternative has become more relevant than ever. She says Brainline is still being inundated by parents who do not want to send their children back to school due to fears over the coronavirus. She says the pandemic has highlighted the importance of a virtual classroom as a strong alternative to the traditional brick-and-mortar school option.
‘Innovation has paved the way for an alternative form of education and with the latest technology, Brainline is bridging the gap to accommodate the digital age. Our teachers present online classes in innovative ways, challenging the status quo of blackboard teaching. These online classes are essentially breaking down the invisible walls of traditional teaching, by presenting the curriculum in new and exciting ways, bringing the classroom to life, and invigorating the lesson material. In this way, Brainline is revolutionising home education for today’s learner,’ Cronje explains.
Brainline is IEB recognised, which means that learners follow the South African National Curriculum (similar to the curriculum offered in South African schools) resulting in the National Senior Certificate (NSC) upon successful completion of their matric exams.
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