The Western Cape is getting #BackonTrack! | Western Cape Education Department
The Western Cape is getting #BackonTrack!

The Western Cape is getting #BackonTrack!

2 June 2023

The Western Cape Education Department has launched a massive R1.2 billion #BackOnTrack programme to reverse learning losses caused by Covid-19, to improve learning outcomes and give our children a better future.

No time has been wasted in getting the show on the road, with teacher and tutor training already taking place, and Saturday classes for learners up and running.

Learner support

The first of the Saturday classes, which are usually only used for matrics in preparation for exams, kicked off for Intermediate and Senior Phase learners on 13 May, with 10 681 Grade 4, 7 and 8 learners attending classes in Mathematics and Languages on the Saturday.

The first Saturday tutoring classes for Grade 10s and 12s have also kicked off, with 4 878 learners attending Grade 10 classes on Saturday, 13 May 2023, and 3 937 learners attending Grade 12 classes on Saturday 6 May 2023.

Teacher and tutor training

Teachers participating in the 1 + 9 intervention, where Intermediate and Senior Phase teachers are taken out of class every 10 days for dedicated professional support, have already been briefed, with 852 teachers attending the kick-off session on 4 May 2023.

A Just-In-Time (JIT) teacher training intervention is underway for Grade 10 and 12 teachers from identified schools, and participants have already attended two sessions to date. The number of participants at each session varies according to subject: for example, 192 Grade 10 teachers  attended the Business Studies session, while 55 Grade 12 teachers attended the training for Accounting.

The JIT programme is delivered online, taking place on a weekday afternoon once every two weeks. The sessions tackle specific topics and prepares teachers to teach the coming two weeks of work.

The training of the tutors who provide support to Grade 10 and 12 learners during Saturday classes and #BackOnTrack camps has also taken place, with 199 Grade 10 and 361 Grade 12 tutors trained on the materials developed for a variety of subjects. They will tutor learners on topics that were taught in class, to supplement and consolidate the learners’ understanding of the content.


The first #BackOnTrack War Room took place on 12 May 2023, with senior officials coming together to discuss the initial response to the programme, make further arrangements, and iron out the details for monitoring the programme.

The War Room will meet every two weeks, and officials from across the province will provide updates and feedback, and to work together to resolve challenges, as we move through the programme.


The programme is designed to incorporate feedback and change over three years. We have invited principals and teachers of the participating schools to let us know what works, what needs more work, and how we can build the best possible interventions we can.

#BackOnTrack has been warmly received by schools, parents and learners, with high attendance at the training sessions and extra classes, and positive feedback from schools.

 “I am glad that the programme covers the lower grades, especially Grade 8, and doesn’t only focus on Grade 12. It will take a team effort to make it a success and we are optimistic that the programme will deliver good results.”

– Pedro Tekana, Principal of Forest Heights High School

“I’ve been to two sessions already, and I find it to be extremely helpful. I have to go and bring back what I was taught, and implement it with my class. So I’m very excited to see if it’s going to work!”

– Louise Khumalo, teacher at Hazendal Primary School

“Our Educators are very positive about the Programme and they are committed to make this programme a success. Our learners and parents are very excited about the programme and committed themselves fully to attend all sessions as indicated on the different timetables for the different grades.”

– Andrew Windvogel, Principal of Bridgetown High School

The #BackOnTrack programme is unique in its scale, and variety of interventions, and most importantly, has hit the ground running.
We have no time to waste if we are going to make a measurable difference to the learning outcomes of an entire generation disadvantaged by the pandemic, and we must all work together to get our children #BackOnTrack!