Lockdown Learning: Looking to homeschool your children? Here’s how

The directive by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga states that schools will be reopening on 8 June. There are, however, many parents and learners that are not ready to return. It may be that they fear the school is not fully equipped to protect their children from COVID-19 but whatever the case may be, some parents are considering homeschooling in the form of Lockdown Learning, until the pandemic eases. 

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, has on Thursday 4 June, released guidelines as to what parents or guardians can do, should they want to homeschool their children. 

WHAT IS HOME EDUCATION? 

Homeschooling means a purposeful programme of education for a learner, alternative to school attendance, which: 

  • Is provided under the direction and supervision of the learner’s parent primarily in the environment of the learner’s home; 
  • May include a tutorial or other educational support if necessary secured by the parent on specific areas of the curriculum followed by the learner; and 
  • Meets the requirements for registration of a learner for home education contemplated in section 51 of the Act.

A home education site means the home of a learner who is registered for home education in accordance with section 51 of the Act. 

WHAT IS LOCKDOWN LEARNING? 

Lockdown Learning is partial or conditional measures of homeschooling to accommodate learners with co-morbidities, those who are sick or are affected by the pandemic in other ways, in accordance with the Government gazette. 

What informs lockdown learning? Well, parents whose children have comorbidities are sick or affected in other ways by the COVID-19 pandemic, may apply for their children to learn from home, however, because of the nature of this category, these learners will be categorised under Lockdown Learning. 

This category of learning is still considered to be part of the schools, thus will main their EMIS numbers and be accounted for on all schooling databases. 

“Due to the partial/conditional nature of this category, all phases will be accommodated,” said Lesufi. 

WHAT MEASURES HAVE BEEN PUT IN PLACE FOR HOMESCHOOLING? 

A tab has been created on the GDE website for homeschooling with the following documents: 

  • An electronic form adapted to apply for Lockdown Learning in collaboration with IT and communication; 
  • A policy on home education; 
  • A memorandum for Lockdown Learning for District Districts, Head Office and Schools; 
  • Guidelines for Lockdown Learning for Parents; 
  • Standard Operating procedures; 
  • Frequently asked questions on Home Education and Lockdown Learning; and 
  • Zero-rated URLs for learning support sites. 

APPLY FOR HOMESCHOOLING 

An electronic webpage for homeschooling and Lockdown Learning has been created for all documentation. Parents who wish to apply can access the form and all relevant documents on the www.education.gauteng.gov.za under the tab Home Education. 

The provincial department maintains and communicates a database with districts on all information on Home Education and Lockdown Learning. 

Districts will organise 14-day Learning Activity Packs (LAPS) for categories of learners according to their grades, to support learners at home. 

Districts will include centralised timetables with notional times for specific learning streams in the learning activity packs. This will help parents/guardians to ensure that learning is effectively organised at home. 

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