The Department of Basic Education is looking at making major changes to school timetables in an effort to maintain social distancing at schools according to Business Tech.
Presenting to parliament on Tuesday (30 June), director-general Mathanzima Mweli said that the department is considering a plan to amend the timetable to ensure that only 50% of the total learner enrolment is present at any given time.
Spokesperson for the Department of Basic Education, Elijah Mhlanga, presented examples of how this differentiated timetabling will work.
In the first example, schools would adopt a bi-weekly rotational system where 50% of total learners in the school would attend in one week based on their grade.
The learners that did not attend school in the first week would then attend school in week 2.
An alternative proposal would see students go to school every other day based on their grade.
The third proposal, known as ‘platooning’, would see all students go to school every day, but alternating between a morning (session 1) and an afternoon session (session 2).
Mhlanga said his department was considering a hybrid-model which will use all three models as well as retaining the current timetable model.
This means that there would effectively be five different timetable options which could be introduced across the country’s schools.
Mhlanga added that these models are being used by other countries as part of their fight against the coronavirus pandemic and is the only way to adhere to health, safety and social-distancing requirements.
The department further outlined the advantages and disadvantages of each system as below.
When teachers are absent due to illness this option makes it a slight challenge to have replacement on short notice.
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