Pretoria – Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has urged community members to inform the department through a toll free number when learners are at school without supervision.
A toll free number, 0800 202 933, has been established by the department for the public to use to report unsupervised learners at school during the public service strike. The number can also be used to report all other strike related incidents.
Department spokesperson Granville Whittle told BuaNews: "After making a call, the department will immediately contact the monitoring team in the areas and ask them to send someone to the school and also call the police to go and monitor the situation."
The department has meanwhile also established strike monitoring teams comprising district and provincial education department officials to monitor the impact of the strike.
Motshekga explained that the teams will be reporting to the national department on a daily basis and will also provide support to schools, as required and will be in constant contact with the local police stations to ensure a speedily response to any eventuality.
The department has also taken measures to ensure that learning and teaching continues during the public service strike. Learning support materials will be provided to learners via print and electronic media.
"The department is working closely with SABC Education to continue to provide revision programmes aimed at Grades 11-12 on both radio and television and a range of high quality education DVDs will also be provided to all districts for use in schools," said Motshekga.
With 66 days before the start of matric examinations, Motshekga called on all Grade 12 learners to continue to prepare for the end of year examinations, to stick diligently to their study timetables and to join a study group, if they are not already part of one.
Motshekga urged learners to use every opportunity available whether after school or at weekends to ensure that they are well prepared for the examinations.
"I have requested educational NGOs providing support to Grade 12s to scale up their activities during this time, parents must continue to provide support to their children, especially the Grade 12s.
"I urge learner representatives in schools to also take their entrusted responsibility of assisting fellow learners to ensure that studies continue, especially for those that prefer to study in groups, let's work together to support the Class of 2010," she said, adding that government remains committed to finding a speedy resolution to the current impasse.
"A protracted national teachers strike is not in anyone's interest," the minister said. – BuaNews