An empty classroom. Photo from Gallo Images
An empty classroom. Photo from Gallo Images

All grade 7 and 12 pupils will have to report back to school on Monday, 8 June 2020, the department of basic education said in a statement on Sunday night. However, some Western Cape schools will be open to receive learners from Monday, 1 June.

This followed meetings with the Council of Education Minister (CEM), where the Heads of Education Departments Committee (HEDCOM), also presented its technical report. 

"All three reports converged on the fact that a substantial number of schools would not be ready for the reopening tomorrow, albeit tremendous progress had been made by most provinces, which overall reflected 80% state of readiness," said spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga.

The Council was concerned that, in some provinces personal protective equipment for learners in particular, had not been received; and some schools had not been made ready for the arrival of teachers and learners.

The Council decided to have schools to continue to reopen on 1 June 2020, but with school management teams, teachers and non-teaching staff only arriving to prepare for the arrival of learners. 

"Provincial and district officials should ensure that health, safety, and social distancing requirements, are strictly adhered to when teachers arrive.

"This whole coming week must be used for the proper orientation and training of teachers, the mopping and ramping of all supply chain matters, and final touches to the readiness of each facility for the arrival of learners."

However, Western Cape schools will be open to receive learners tomorrow, said Western Cape education MEC Debbie Schafer.

"Whilst we are aware of the many anxieties surrounding Covid-19, keeping schools closed indefinitely is not going to resolve them," said Schafer.

"We shall accordingly be open for learners tomorrow. The week will be used primarily for the orientation of learners into the new Covid-19 safety and learning environment."

Schafer said there will also be some schools that do not receive learners tomorrow, either because they are not at a suitable state of readiness in terms of safety protocols, or they are closed for cleaning if there has been a confirmed case of Covid-19 at the school.

"These schools will communicate with their staff members and parents of learners in this regard."


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