Statement of the ANC Parliamentary Caucus Study Group on Basic Education on the Reopening of Schools and Matric Results

12 January 2022

The ANC Parliamentary Caucus Study Group on Basic Education sends well wishes to all learners who will be returning to school, with those in the inland provinces reopening today and coastal provinces reopening next week. We are confident that the children of our nation will continue to be resilient as they continue learning in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. We extend our condolences to all families which lost their loved ones in the duty of teaching and learning to ensure our schools continue uninterrupted under the conditions. 

One of the major achievements of the ANC government is opening the doors of learning and culture, and it is in this vein that we reaffirm that no learner should be deprived access to schooling due to finances.

The Study Group remains concerned about the pace of teaching and learning due to the interruptions by COVID-19 infections and due to the rotational method in keeping with the National Disaster Regulations. Research has demonstrated the negative impact of learning losses, which cannot be recovered, due to the period of learning. We therefore welcome the different interventions undertaken by the Department of Basic Education for increasing access to learning and teaching materials on zero rated websites by government and by different private sector entities. The use of technology during this precarious period is a critical intervention for our education sector in adapting to the changing world. 

The Study Group implores the department to work with health experts and the National Coronavirus Command Council to continue assessing and making preparations for the full-time return of learners in compliance with health protocols. This will help close the learning loss gap, which is likely to be irrecoverable due to slow curriculum coverage. We welcome the progress on the vaccination of teachers, and encourage parents to ensure vaccination of children from the age of 12 and above as this enhances the fight against the virus.

We implore the department to ensure readiness of all our schools with compliance to the COVID-19 regulations in order to protect the wellbeing of teachers, learners and all workers who support our schools.

The Study Group welcomes the implementation of the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) (Act No 04 of 2013) in relation to publication of Matric results. This is a call that has been made by the Progressive Youth Alliance, which has consistently highlighted how publicising Matric results negatively impacts the right to privacy of individuals, at worst, they result to tragic incidents such as suicide and depression. We wish all matriculants well in their academic endeavours as their results will be released next week in their schools.

We call on parents, School Governing Bodies, civil society, community members and all education stakeholders to continue supporting schools to ensure our learners learn in a conducive environment that continuously strives to eradicate social ills such as alcohol use, drug use, teenage pregnancy and bullying.

The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education will undertake an oversight visit to North West, Ngaka Modiri Molema and Dr Kenneth Kaunda District respectively on the 17th and 18th January 2021, and in the Free State at Lejweleputswa and Mangaung District respectively on 19th and 20th January 2022.

The pride of our nation lies in investing in our children.



Nombuyiselo Adoons ANC (MP)

Whip of the Study Group on Basic Education

072 661 5765

For media enquiries, contact Acting Caucus Spokesperson:

Nomfanelo Kota on 067 415 1089