Pretoria – The South African Department of Basic Education has announced that schools will re-open on 1 June 2020.
The agreement was reached after lengthy consultations with the National Command Council Team, Minister Angie Motshekga addressed the media on Tuesday night, to lay down a plan for the re-opening of schools.
The re-opening of schools has sent a lot of tongues wagging, with many people taking to social media to voice their dissatisfaction against the move.
One facebook user Khotso Hyclenth Baloyi said “Balance me here people… what’s the rush to re-open the schools with these grim projections? 🤔🤔🤔
Minister Motshekga urged parents and the public to work together with government and teachers to ensure that the school re-opening plan works.
Soliwe Rayi a facebook user took a swipe at parents for being care free whilst kids have all along being playing on the streets without a concern of the parents yet they complain about the re-opening of schools.
Motshekga says parents who want to keep their kids at home are allowed to do so, however she has advised them to re-register them for same grade for the class of 2021.
Grade 7s and Grade 12s will be the first badge of Learners to return to school, the deparment says cabinet has agreed that it won’t be advisable to loose an academic year and this will be guided by key principles that will help with the safety of learners, teachers, and employees at schools, whilst ensuring that the re-opening of schools does not in any way cause widespread infections of coronavirus.
Working closely with experts in the health sector, the minister says they are going to use the debate of the impact of the virus on both children and adults as guidance, she also acknowledged that they are entering uncharted waters and do not guarantee that no one will not be infected by the virus.
Basic Education DG Hubert Mweli added to this and said: “We follow what international bodies are telling us about Covid-19 and the re-opening of schools. You can only draw lessons from countries with experience”.
Minister Angie Motshekga expressed concern about the vandalized school in which a total of 1577 schools have seen break ins, arsons, theft and other forms of vandalism, 463 in KZN and 336 Schools in Gauteng have been vandalized the two provinces carry the highest numbers of vandalized schools. She urged communities to work with government to ensure that those who are guilty should be brought to book.
The progress readiness report of schools re-opening by;The Council of Education Ministers (CET) was received and the first consignment of materials has arrived in schools and more deliveries will follow.
This will serve as a basis for the developed protocol for which its premium is to save lives, The delivery of essentials is currently taking place in all provinces to ensure safer places.
The essentials include masks, sanitizers, water and sanitation, and schools will be cleaned and the process is already unfolding, the ministry acknowledged that it does not have sufficient stats on the sanitation of schools.
The deparment is also liaising with the deparment of transport to ensure safety measures on school transport which will ensure that;
- Everybody to sanitize hands on entering of bus.
- Manage distance between learners in the bus.
- Compulsory wearing of masks throughout the school day, starting before boarding transport.
Special Schools will be prioritised with a different approach and the department is receiving information and advise from different organizations on how to deal with the matter of special schools.
The level 3 restrictions easing will give a solution to a way forward regarding the Early Childhood Development Centres, which provides an essential service for children’s development.
A revised school calendar will be gazetted soon, which will indicate the new opening and closing dates, and the breaks in between.