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Pandemic cost us five years of education, says Lesufi | Muhabarishaji News

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The COVID-19 pandemic has cost the education system five years of teaching and learning, according to the Gauteng MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi, and the crisis needs to be dealt with before it delivers more disaster.

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The MEC told the media that South African learners in public schools are at high risk of never finishing school, and the ongoing time waste from relevant leaders could create more damage than what has already taken place.


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Lefusi said September 2020 confirmed a loss of no less than two years of schooling, and as a result of South Africa’s disappointing fight against COVID-19, the education system has now lost three more years.

“Last year, during this period, the month of September, we anticipated that we’ve lost three years of schooling,” he said via eNCA.

“We got a new report last week, with the national minister saying that three years has been extended to five years. It is a catastrophe that we need to avoid. The country can’t afford that,” he added.


According to a study by the National Income Dynamics Study – Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (NIDS-CRAM), a staggering 650,000 to 750,000 children dropped out of school in the last school year during the pandemic.

Additional reports further claim that high rates of drop-outs have always been a major setback in Mzansi pre-COVID-19. The challenge results from issues such as bad marks, failing grades, incompetent teaching, and harmful school environments. Another key factor is socioeconomic conditions that stem from extreme poverty and poor social structures.

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