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North West Students given lifeline to save the 2020 academic year

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The North West Department of Education is pulling out all the stops to salvage what is left of the academic year by launching a new digital programme aimed at helping learners catch up with their studies.

Dial-a-Tutor is a contact solution that uses a toll-free number allowing Grade 8 to 12 learners across the province to interact with subject specialists.

The programme, which was launched on Thursday at Onkabetse-Thuto Secondary, aims to create a greater connection between learners and the classroom as millions of students have missed school due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“The long school break necessitated the department to provide learners with learner specific attention from tutors to resolve problem areas in their subjects,” the provincial department explained.

The provincial MEC for Education, Mmaphefo Matsemela, also encouraged learners to make use of the toll-free number effectively.

“Dial-a-Tutor is an additional intervention towards assisting learners. This programme will benefit learners, as it simplifies teaching and learning. I am pleading with parents to encourage and support learners to call the toll-free number," Matsemela said.

In October, in an attempt to calm Grade 12 learners when they write their final examinations, the provincial department will offer each student psychosocial support.

Matsemela went on to say that this will help learners who have been exposed to difficult times during the pandemic.

“This programme needs to be embraced by the entire community in order for it to be successful.”

A Grade 12 learner from Onkabetse-Thuto Secondary School, Neo Macklein, said that she has already used Dial-a-Tutor and received all the assistance she needed for Mathematics and Accounting.

Furthermore, subject specialist for Business Economics, Percy Modillane, commended the initiative, saying that it has allowed learners to raise questions without fear of being judged.

Educators are also benefitting from the programme, as they can use it to request materials for their subjects.

Modillane echoed the MEC’s words and encouraged learners to take on this opportunity.

Students who are interested in using this free service can call Dial-a-Tutor on 0800 383 383 from Monday to Friday, 7 am to 8 pm. 

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