On Sunday, Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, announced the state of school readiness ahead of the official reopening on Monday, 8 June.
Motshekga said that 95% of schools complied with the Covid-19 protocols and are able to reopen, while the department will be working with the 5% of schools who are not ready.
“The golden rule is, there will be no school that will resume, if not ready to do so. For the remaining 5% or so learners alternative measures have been developed by different districts such as temporarily using neighboring schools, using underutilized spaces in boarding schools and putting other learners in camps,” Motshekga says.
Provincial departments will be responsible for discussing these alternative measures with parents to get their permission to go ahead and implement programs. The Department says that it has agreed that these discussions have to be concluded this week.
“Where practicably possible, learners from the “not-so-ready schools”, will be moved to neighbouring schools that meet the health, safety and social distancing set measures and requirements. The teaching and learning programmes provided online will continue; and parents who are uneasy to send their children back to school, must follow the law to ensure that their children’s right to basic education is unhindered,” Motshekga says.
Collaboration with other departments is underway to provide learners with access to water and sanitation where it is currently not available, scholar transport for learners with special education needs and health and psychosocial resources for school communities.
Motshekga says that Standard Operating Procedures will be given to schools on how to deal with learners and staff members who have been infected by Covid-19. Once an agreement is reached, the Department will also address teachers who have comorbities.
The Minister concluded that through their support from various departments and organisations, interventions have made it more possible to reopen schools on Monday 8 June as opposed to a week ago.
The 2020 school year is currently being revised by the Department.