Only schools in the Western Cape will be reopened for Grade 7 and Grade 12 learners. The rest of the country’s learners in this age group will be back on the school desks next Monday (June 8).
The Department of Basic Education confirmed the revised date in a statement on Sunday night after Angie Motshekga, the Minister of Basic Education’s media conference, which was supposed to take place earlier this evening, was postponed.
Department spokeswoman Elijah Mhlanga said the extra week will be used for proper teacher orientation and training and to set up schools that are not ready to welcome learners back this Monday.
According to the statement, the department did inquire about schools whose learners had already moved back to the hostel. “We call on the schools to continue to orient the learners on the health and safety procedures that need to be put in place,” Mhlanga said.
However, Western Cape Education Minister Debbie Schäfer said the province was ready to welcome its learners back on the school desks. “We can no longer allow our schools to be in uncertainty,” Schäfer said in a statement.
Schäfer said the Western Cape Department of Education spent R280 million on personal protective equipment and cleaning products. It includes 2.4 million masks, more than 7,000 digital thermometers and millions of liters of hand sanitizer and disinfectants.
Schäfer said schools in the Western Cape will use mainly for the orientation of learners in the new Covid-19 safety and learning environment over the coming week.