Primary schooling is expected to take a step closer to normality thanks to newly gazetted regulations under the Disaster Management Act which dictate that pupils from Grades R to 7 should return to school daily in July.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga gazetted the regulations on Friday.
According to the regulations, primary school pupils (those in Grades R to 7) must return to the daily attendance and traditional timetabling model from 26 July 2021, provided that the risk-adjusted differentiated strategy is implemented.
Schools for special needs pupils will also return to the daily attendance and traditional timetabling model from 26 July for those in Grade R to 7.
The regulations further direct that where practical, teaching and learning may be conducted outside the confines of a classroom, provided that all health and safety measures on Covid-19 are adhered to, as contemplated in these directions, the basic education department's Standard Operating Procedures and the regulations, and pupils' safety is ensured.
The movement of pupils must also be minimised during teaching time. Teachers should rotate between lessons - not pupils.
Schools that can't return to the traditional timetabling model must inform the department, set out the steps taken to return to a conventional timetabling model and provide reasons for adhering to a differentiated timetabling model.
In the regulations, Motshekga also provided an extensive list of contact sports that must be suspended.
The regulations define contact sports as any sporting activity that does not allow a physical distance of at least one and a half meters between participants.
"All contact sport, including competitive events and matches, are hereby suspended."
The list includes the following: