In this interview with Azania Mosaka on 702, Youth Capital Project Lead Kristal Duncan-Williams focuses on the fact that during the lockdown, not all learners have been learning equally. A member of the Youth Capital network opened up about these challenges and gaps in learning, “Every time our teacher gives us an activity I try to do it. I even use the textbook but along the way, I get really confused and she’s (the teacher) is putting a lot of pressure on us because she gives us a lot of worksheets. Some of the work I do understand because we did it last year, but the rest just makes me frustrated and I’ve been having headaches. I’ve even stopped doing the work – I just wait for the memorandum and copy it.”
Our education policy of repetition and progress already puts our learners at a disadvantage, since the system doesn’t have any support mechanism built-in. Students without support attempt to continue in mainstream schools, until they drop out because they can’t stay on track. The plan of the DBE shouldn’t strengthen this unequal structure.
While the conversation around opening schools is complex (including food security and home safety), as a network we have to be realistic about the inequalities of our schooling system; under the current plan by the Department of Basic Education (DBE), resourced schools with resourced learners will come out of it okay while learners in under-resourced schools will bear the consequences.
What is an academic catch-up plan?
An academic catch-up plan means prioritising the knowledge gaps or barriers that learners have and that they can’t fill on their own. These need to be urgently addressed with a strategy by the DBE to ensure that learners stay on track with their grades.
Listen to the interview here to find out what we can do now.