Improving psychosocial support in SA schools during and after COVID-19 as part of a recovery plan

OUTPUT TYPE: Policy briefs
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2021
TITLE AUTHOR(S): C.Namome, L.Winnaar, F.Arends
KEYWORDS: COVID-19, EDUCATION, SCHOOLS
DEPARTMENT: Inclusive Economic Development (IED)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 11789
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/15829
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11910/15829

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Abstract

South African (SA) schools experienced a prolonged school closure during 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department of Basic Education has a recovery plan that aims to undo many of the learning losses - but we argue for a recovery from a different kind of loss: the social and emotional loss to learners, teaching and non-teaching staff in school settings. The purpose of this policy brief is to evaluate the adequacy of existing psychosocial strategies to deal with the ongoing pandemic. Using findings from the recent school readiness survey, we highlight the importance of psychosocial support in SA schools, analyse the current policy environment in the context of existing strategies in South Africa, and provide our recommendations for the DBE.