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Govt failed to provide fair access to education during lockdown – PSC report

The PSC published its quarterly report on Tuesday which reflected on the impact of the nationwide lockdown on the education system, among other issues, in the public service.

JOHANNESBURG – The Public Service Commission (PSC) on Tuesday said that government had failed to achieve the constitutional principle of providing impartial, fair services equitably and without bias in the education system during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The PSC published its quarterly report which reflected on the impact of the nationwide lockdown on the education system, among other issues, in the public service.

The commission’s findings mirrored those of experts who flagged that the partial transition to home and online learning exposed government’s failure to address the digital divide in the education system.

During the hard lockdown earlier this year in March, when COVID-19 infections were rising rapidly in the country, pupils were confined to their homes as schools shut their doors.

The PSC asserted that this had social and educational implications while raising important political debates about government’s response to the crisis.

While many pupils faced the reality of being unable to continue with online education due to a lack of facilities, the events also exposed the stark differences between public and private schools.

The report further criticised the continued use of pit latrines in schools. It described it as a grave health and safety risk that required urgent attention.

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