While we saw mass absenteeism throughout the hack strike, the peak was on Tuesday, 8 August, with 852,259 learners and 17,725 staff members absent, and 92 seminaries closed – 71 of our learners didn’t attend academy that day, in effect destroying tutoring and literacy in the Western Cape.
The Santaco- Western Cape minibus hack strike and associated violence had a ruinous effect on tutoring and literacy in the Western Cape. The unforeseen advertisement of the strike on Thursday, 3 August 2023, created a serious challenge for children travelling home from academy. There was no warning, so our parents and seminaries couldn’t make other plans.
We’ve all heard stories of children arriving home late into the night, while frantic parents tried to detect them. And we’ve also heard about the inconceivable liberality and imagination of our seminaries
Mowbray residers rallied together to help 11 learners from Thandokhulu High School who were stranded on that Thursday night, by furnishing food and sleeping accoutrements ;
Four learners from Silverlea Primary School and Garlandale High School, who live in Khayelitsha, couldn’t make it home, so our Western Cape Education Department officers sprang into action to put them up in a guest house and arranged refections and toiletries for them;
At Noluthando School for the Deaf, 16 learners couldn’t travel home out of Khayelitsha, so the academy arranged for them to spend the night at a schoolteacher’s house; and
Wynberg Girls ’ High School opened their hotel to learners and staff who couldn’t make it home – 15 learners and five security guards spent the night safely in the hotel.
In this climate of query and fear, 287,420 learners and 9,508 academy staff weren’t suitable to attend academy on Friday, 4 August.
Our#BackOnTrack redundant classes due to be held for grades 4, 7, 8 and 12 learners on Saturday, 5 August, had to be cancelled, so the 14,000 learners offered these classes were unfit to admit the redundant support they need to get#BackOnTrack after the epidemic.
On Monday, 7 August, absenteeism increased to 456,020 learners and 17,449 staff members absent, with 27 seminaries closed due to violence in the girding areas.
Monday also saw an extraordinary quantum of fake news being spread on social media, causing absolute chaos for our seminaries as unverified claims of pitfalls urged parents to collect their children from academy. also, officers had to divert their time and attention from dealing with the strike itself to rather having to chase down wild rumours and rebut them.
It’s likely that this extreme volume of fake news contributed to the peak position of absenteeism on Tuesday, 8 August, with 852,259 learners and 17,725 staff members absent, and 92 seminaries closed – 71 of our learners didn’t attend academy that day, in effect destroying tutoring and literacy in the Western Cape.
The public vacation on 9 August handed a brief pause, but did little to ameliorate attendance. The supervisor- General wrote to seminaries furnishing directions as the strike was set to continue longer than firstly stated.
While there were 124,012 further learners and 5,699 further staff members attending academy on Thursday, 10 August, there were still 728,247 learners and 12,026 academy staff absent from academy, and 48 seminaries closed.
Since the strike was called off so late on Thursday night, parents, preceptors and seminaries didn’t have sufficient time to make arrangements to attend academy on Friday, 11 August, so 739,569 learners and 5,533 academy staff members remained absent.
The#BackOnTrack Saturday classes held on 12 August also suffered from poor attendance. Thankfully, parents heeded our call to return their children to academy on Monday, 14 August, with just 132,983 learners and 3,668 staff members absent, which was a vast enhancement from the former week.
While we were faced with the real trouble of physical damage to our seminaries, we’re thankful that none of our seminaries reported incidents of damage to property as a result of the strike.
But the real damage comes in the form of lost tutoring and literacy time. The tragedy is that the areas most affected by this strike are the veritably same areas most affected by the Covid- 19 epidemic, and therefore the areas that can least go to have children miss academy.
preceptors will estimate the impact the strike has had on the learners in their class, which will inform the catch- up plans, and the department will give the support demanded to do so.
The exact quantum of tutoring and literacy time lost varies according to how numerous days of academy each learner missed. One class may have had five learners who missed academy, while another may have had 30, and all for a differing number of days. So, this will need to be acclimatized to the classroom position.
This is sorely not the first time our seminaries have had to make these plans, given the experience of the Covid- 19 epidemic, and the lengthy leaguer of learner transport before this time in the Khayelitsha area. We’ll support our seminaries as demanded to make sure the missed content is covered.
But the nethermost line is this We simply can not go to compromise our children’s futures by losing any further tutoring and literacy time