1. The WCED, in conjunction with the national Department of Education, recently released a media statement explaining Phase 1 of the Recovery Plan. This included the provision of Winter Schools during the mid-year holidays and the provision of a wide range of support materials including study guides, textbooks, pacesetters and programmes on electronic and print media (see Annexure A). Most of these activities depended on learners taking action themselves to ensure that lost curriculum time was minimised.
2. We need to acknowledge from the outset that we cannot hope to make up for the time lost during the recent public service strike. However, our Recovery Plan is intended to create opportunities for teachers and learners to focus their attention on crucial aspects of the curriculum that have been affected by the strike. The Recovery Plan, therefore, is an education intervention to mediate the impact of the strike.
3. It must also be acknowledged that not all schools were equally affected by the strike. The Recovery Plan, therefore, is applicable to a set of designated schools where no teaching and learning was possible for a continuous period of 10 days or more during the strike.
4. Phase 2 of the Recovery Plan will cover the period 30 July 2007 - 21 September 2007 and will include additional teaching hours for all grades, as well as Saturday classes and a Spring School for Grade 12 learners.
5. The Recovery Plan is voluntary for both learners and teachers, in line with the position taken between the DoE and unions at a national level. This is reflected in the advertisement placed in the print media by unions over the weekend of 21 - 22 July 2007.
6. Examinations
6.1 We respect the fact that some schools have already written examinations. Schools have the option not to write the June examinations or alternatively to write scaled-down control tests after consultation with SGBs and RCLs.
6.2 Those schools that did not write examinations, or that do not wish to write the examinations during this time, must utilise the time optimally to prepare for examinations in September. Schools are advised to utilise the study guides sent as part of the learning support materials.
6.3 All grades could use an open-book examination as practice. Learners in Grade 10 and 11 should work through the national exemplars distributed to schools, either in class or as homework.
6.4 Formal assessment in Grades 10 and 11 in the NCS requires one mid-year examination. If learners have not written an examination in the second term, they must write examinations in the third term to prepare for the final examinations and to provide a school-based assessment code/percentage.
6.5 Higher Education Institutions have agreed to extend the deadline for the submission of mid-year examination results and will take into consideration Grade 11 results, as well as preliminary and final examination results.
7. Given that not all educators at all schools participated in the strike, it is conceivable that tensions will have arisen among teachers at the same school. It is critical that the working relationship between teachers is a co-operative one if we are to ensure that our learners are not further disadvantaged by the strike. It is essential therefore, that the principal, together with the School Management Team and the SGB, initiate a programme to restore relationships where these have broken down during the strike.
8. Teachers are asked not to rush work when it comes to conceptual or basic skills development. For proper foundations to be laid there must be no short cuts. Any step left out now will cause damage later. Learners should not be expected to complete assignments just for the sake of the assessment mark.
9. Because of the urgency of the situation, we will begin the plan (Phase 2) on 30 July 2007. Please note the deadlines set in this document for specific data we require relating to numbers of teachers and learners.
10. Kindly inform all teachers, learners and parents of the contents of this circular.

DATE: 2007:07:27

Annexure A: Recovery Plan - Phase 1  (size: 31 KB)