The catch-up programme aims to help learners make up for lost time. Picture: Giyani Baloi
The catch-up programme aims to help learners make up for lost time. Picture: Giyani Baloi

Help is at hand for Class of 2021

By Roland Mpofu Time of article published Oct 18, 2021

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More than one million pupils across the country are expected to sit for their final exams next week after having lost almost 50 days of schooling due to Covid-19 and subsequent lockdowns.

However, help is at hand after Woza Matrics 2021 Catch Up campaign launched a supplementary remote learning support programme that seeks to benefit them with learning continuity.

The catch-up programme aims to help learners make up for lost time. Picture: Giyani Baloi

Tukisang Senne, the operations lead at Woza Matric said since March last year Covid-19 caused major disruption to schooling and learning of an estimated 13 million pupils with the effects being acutely felt across the schooling system, including among students in Grade 11 in 2020, who are the matric class of 2021.

“Woza Matrics 2021 Catch Up campaign is a supplementary remote learning support programme that seeks to benefit an estimated 1.3 million matriculants with learning continuity, catch up on curriculum learning, Grade 11 and matric revision, care and support and exam preparation,” said Senne.

She said this programme supports 10 priority subjects – accounting, business studies, economics, English first additional language, geography, history, life sciences, mathematics, mathematical literacy and physical sciences.

Senne said the campaign offers CAPS-aligned content to Grade 12 pupils, including second chance matric pupils that can be accessed via multiple digital and non-digital platforms.

“The latter includes print media, free-to-air educational television broadcasts (SABC 1), satellite television (DStv Catch Up and OVHD Channel 122), community radio programmes, and delivery via digital platforms such as Matric Live mobile app, Velle on Telegram Messenger and a dedicated YouTube Channel.

“We work with a number of partners to curate appropriate curriculum and care and support learning resources from various content providers and distribute these through the platforms listed above.”

Asked how the programme was assisting pupils in rural areas where there is no access to television or the internet, Senne said low-end technologies like radio and print still matter significantly in the face of widespread digital inequality.

“We have also invested in brochures and flyers on how to best use the learning resources on their own and on examination preparation; as well animations shared via chat platforms for teachers and parents on how to support learners do their best.

“The Woza Matrics Campaign has also invested in the development of printed matric study guides in 13 high enrolment subjects and plans to print learning resources for learners in Grade R to 11 as well,” he said.

“In addition we have invested in chat platforms such as a dedicated WhatsApp line (061 505 3023) through which all learners are able to submit any curriculum- or psychosocial-related question(s) and receive assistance, a response and learning support from tutors and/or counsellors.”

Senne said last year pupils informed them “that the Woza Matrics campaign assisted them with revision, understanding complex topics in various subjects, were able to ask questions during examination preparation guide lessons we broadcast, and that these lessons helped them to prepare well for their final examinations.”

Meanwhile the Congress of South African Students (Cosas) secretary-general Michael Mayalo said they have been at the forefront of championing interests of pupils and in making sure that the culture of teaching and learning takes place in a conducive environment during the pandemic and have also launched successful campaigns such as the: “Each One Teach One provides tutoring and extra classes from former pupils and young professionals and we have called on Department of Basic Education to vest their program in terms of e-learning, however we do have implementation in some parts were wi-fi is installed in some communities in the rural areas.”

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