Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, held her much-anticipated media briefing on Monday, she says schools will reopen for Grade 7 & 12 on 8 June.
Minister Motshekga apologised for postponing the address, which was scheduled for Sunday evening, she said she had used Sunday for consultations as learners were still on their way to school.
“I spent almost the whole of Sunday consulting principals. I had to engage with the leadership of schools, both public and private. I was also in a meeting with the SAHR Commission and organizations representing learners with special needs. I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused,” Motshekga said.
She said, “we took a decision on Saturday evening to use this week to mop up, although some schools were ready. Sunday I had to speak to private schools as well. I can confirm there are some schools that were not ready.”
Minister Motshekga confirmed that teachers are still expected to be at school today if the required PPE’s are in place. She said that there will be permits issued to teachers who need to travel via provinces and a certificate will be issued to learners for day to day travels. The person transporting learners to school must also have a permit.
The Minister says she’s hopeful things will be ready for next week, “Any further delay poses a serious threat to the system and to learners. Learners will be highly disadvantaged if we continue to postpone.”
The DBE says screening of symptoms must be done at all schools on a daily basis according to the department of health guidelines as the health and safety of all teachers and learners remains the main concern. Any school or office that doesn’t comply with the requirements will remain closed.
While extramural activities remain suspended, the DBE says its major challenge has been the curriculum. “We’ve lost a whole term, so the schooling system has been re-looked.”
Parents who are still anxious must apply for an exemption and they will then by law be required to apply for home education as basic education is compulsory by law.