COVID-19 Timetable System Affecting Learners’ Motivation to Learn


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A lot of children and teenagers behaviour has changed drastically because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has disrupted everything in their life, especially their school work. Teenagers are no longer dedicated to their schoolwork as they were before the pandemic. It seems that they have lost interest gaining the education that they need.

Most learners only attend school for a couple of days a week, and the rest of the time they spend at home. Learners say that their academic knowledge has decreased a lot because of this new timetable system and it doesn’t make sense for them.

“The fact that we have to go to school twice or thrice a week makes me very confused and lazy as well,” said Caswell Cooke, a Grade 10 pupil from Kliptown (south-west of Johannesburg). He said that “this timetable system is a disruption because learners who were in my class last year are acting out now. They don’t pay attention to their schoolwork and they don’t come to school when they are supposed to come.”

According to Caswell, the teachers at his school (a secondary school in Eldorado Park, near Kliptown) don’t care about the children’s whereabouts. They don’t ask the children why they are not attending classes when they are suppose to. Also, the school doesn’t notify parents that their child has been missing from school for certain days.

Tamsin Hopper is a Grade 8 learner from Eldorado Park who attends the same school as Caswell. She said; “Going to school twice or trice a week is nice but it sometimes also causes a confusion because I don’t always know when it’s my day to go to school”. She also said that last year, when she was completing Grade 7, a learner in her grade fell pregnant. “She was most of the time at home and not at school and the girl’s mother was working so the mother didn’t know that the child was not at school.”

Too many teenagers are just chilling at home doing nothing, and some throws house parties during the week because their parents are not present. It is clear that COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon, so if we do not deal with this problem, it will only get worse and the youth will lose interest completely in their future.

This article was submitted on 26 March 2021. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (, and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.

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