Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga alongside her deputy minister attended a media briefing on Tuesday 19th May to announce that Grade 7 and 12 students will be due to return to the classroom on the 1st of June
Teachers are set to return on the 25th of May to deal with any administration work and prepare for the re-opening of schools.
Minister Angie Motshekga said during a press conference that every precaution was taken to ensure that schools are ready for Grade 7 and Grade 12 learners on 1 June. However, the minister could not say when learners would be able to return to school in other grades and simply said that details would be announced “later”.
Schools have been closed since March 18 to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“We are also in discussions with the Department of Social Work to determine when centers for early childhood development may open.” The minister did, however, say that both departments will work to ensure that these centers can open earlier than initially planned.
Questions to the ministers
Once the panel had finished speaking the public had the opportunity to send in messages for a response.
What is going to happen to children with chronic diseases, will they have to stay at home?
“We don’t want to expose any child to danger if parents know their conditions, the parents can speak to the school to make arrangements. There will be regular screening to ensure the children as safe as possible. ” responded the Deputy Minister
Can parents choose not to send children to school?
“The answer is a big yes. The minister has welcomed homeschooling, however, you cannot deprive a child going to school – arrange for homeschooling and you will be supported.” responded the Deputy Minister