Schäfer said pupils at about 88% of primary schools in the province were attending school on a rotational basis because they could not comply with the one-metre requirement.
“There is strong and mounting evidence to suggest that the learning losses our young people are suffering are devastating and will have long-term negative consequences.”
According to the National Income Dynamics Study Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (Nids-Cram) published in May 2021, primary school children in no-fee schools in 2020 learnt 50% to 75% less than what they normally learn.
In 2021 significant teaching time losses continued as a result of rotational timetables.
Schäfer said another area of concern was that many pupils were not able to access the feeding scheme as often as they should and the on-off attendance was contributing to a higher dropout rate.
“Implementing a rotational model in schools is not easy. It requires dedicated planning and continued pressure to keep up with the curriculum while teaching different cohorts of pupils on different days.”