Coronavirus lockdown: KZN education department to use radio classes to help matric pupils

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As a national lockdown looms, the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education will be assisting matric pupils by hosting radio tuition on its community radio stations.

"We had to respond to how learners can continue to receive tuition while at home. One of the immediate interventions was to use radio lessons. Radio lessons have been used in the previous years to assist matriculants towards their finals examinations and have been impactful," Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu told News24 on Tuesday.

His comments come a day after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a national lockdown as Covid-19 figures jumped to 554 cases, with two people in intensive care.

Mshengu said he hoped the radio lessons, which would be taught by teachers from the department, would mitigate the negative impact of the lockdown.

"We are not only losing a number of normal school days, but we have also lost time for holiday classes which we had planned for matriculants. With these lessons, we believe learners will be able to complement their own homework."

He said pupils should use the national lockdown for studying.

Lockdown impact on KZN

"They should use this time effectively to do schoolwork while at home. They should follow our radio lessons religiously. It should also be a time for revising the work done during the first term."

Mshengu said the lockdown would "severely impact the education sector", especially in rural areas.

"Because of the large rural parts of the province, we cannot reach all parts with other smart solutions [due to poor] connectivity."

He called on parents and stakeholders to ensure pupils listened to lessons.

"They must ensure that learners are at home and following all these radio lessons. Without the active involvement of parents, the success of this initiative will be minimal. Every morning we will be issuing out on all our communication platforms the time schedule for the lessons to be done on that particular day."

Mshengu added that while "a lack of visuals will have its own impact" it would not be as severe as if there was no tuition at all.

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