Most schools are ready to reopen on Monday, June 8, and the Department of Basic Education will ensure that all learners start school again on Monday. This will include, among other things, learners whose schools are not yet ready to attend neighboring schools or other available places.
That’s how Minister Angie Motshekga said at a virtual press conference on Sunday.
Schools should have reopened on June 1, but because the majority of schools did not receive the necessary safety equipment in time or were able to properly clean the school, that date was postponed to June 8. Some of the schools, especially schools in the Western Cape, reopened this past Monday.
“Schools have worked hard over the past week and great strides have been made to ensure that schools comply with all health and safety measures so that Covid-19 is not distributed among learners and teachers.”
According to a report submitted on Sunday, 23,100 of the 23,675 schools nationwide (97%) were declared ready. Some schools in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga are not yet ready to open.
According to the minister, the schools’ progress was hampered by vandalism and the interception of equipment on their way to schools.
“We are still adamant that schools cannot open until all measures have been put in place, but we also cannot allow any learner to be left behind. Therefore, learners whose schools are not yet ready will be accommodated on other premises. “
Education unions said in a joint statement on Sunday that they were pleased that schools reopened on Monday, as they no longer pose a significant health risk to learners and teachers.
Motshekga says her department will now continue to monitor the situation and will also start preparing for the second group of learners to return to schools on July 6. She again said that parents who are anxious or uncomfortable sending their children back to school may teach children at home and that the department will also announce plans to meet those parents soon.