Premier Winde and Minister Maynier visit #BackOnTrack extra classes | Western Cape Government


Premier Winde and Minister Maynier visit #BackOnTrack extra classes

10 March 2024

Joint Media Release - Premier Winde and Minister Maynier visit #BackOnTrack extra classes

On Saturday, 9 March 2024, Premier Alan Winde joined Western Cape Education Minister, David Maynier, for a visit to Rocklands Primary School, where Grade 4 and 7 learners were attending Saturday classes as part of the #BackOnTrack programme.

The programme’s extra classes are taught by expert tutors, and offered to selected learners in Grades 4, 7, 8, 10 and 12. On any given Saturday, around 11 000 learners attend class. These learners will also attend holiday classes and camps during the winter and spring school holidays.

The #BackOnTrack programme was specifically designed to reverse the severe learning losses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, both during the lockdown and rotational attendance once schools reopened. Our 2021 systemic test results revealed a devastating reversal of a decade’s progress in Reading and Mathematics skills, with the most severe impact in the Foundation Phase.

The programme uses a combination of teacher training, extra classes for learners, and classroom resources to improve learning outcomes in the Western Cape. It is the largest learning recovery programme in the country!

Premier Alan Winde said, "I am very grateful for all of our hard-working and dedicated teachers who think nothing of giving their time over weekends to help our learners realise their full potential. The hard work of the tutors, school staff and officials outside of school hours is a testament to the commitment of the Western Cape Department of Education to offer our children a better future." The Premier added, "To our learners, I urge you to take full advantage of this initiative." Interacting with some of the learners, he asked them who wanted to be a Premier when they grew up. Several hands immediately shot up, to the delight of Premier Winde.

The programme has also been well received by teachers, learners and parents. Principal Keith Scheepers expressed his support for #BackOnTrack: “The programme has been instrumental in fostering academic growth, enthusiasm for learning, and increased confidence among the learners involved. The fact that learners eagerly anticipate their tutoring sessions on a Saturday indicates that they found value and enjoyment in the learning experience.”

Minister Maynier highlighted the impact that the programme is having on learning outcomes, saying: “Our latest systemic test results show that we are starting to turn the tide against learning losses, thanks to a tremendous joint effort by our Department and schools. Together, we can reverse learning losses and give our children a better future in the Western Cape!”