Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga says the year 2020 will be recorded in history as the most difficult year for the world. This is due to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 virus and the effect it had on the education system.

During the media briefing on Thursday morning in Pretoria, Motshekga says the matric group of 2020 lost 47 schooling days, but showed appreciation to many various interventions which assisted learners to finish the year’s curriculum – programmes like WOZA Matric programmes helped learners with home time learning.

Due to the novel coronavirus, lives were unfortunately lost  – with the country having lost 1 493 teachers, she says.

“We lost workers in schools and officials in circuits, district offices, provincial departments, and who can forget that we also lost MEC of Education in the Northern Cape, Mack Jack, may their souls rest in eternal peace.”

School readiness for 2021

The Minister reassured that the sector is ready for the 2021 academic year as schools reopen on January 25 for teachers and learners only expected on January 27.

She highlighted that the areas of concentration for the opening of schools will be on health and safety, schools admissions, learner drop out, provision of teachers, provision of LTMs, curriculum management and assessment, roll out of information, communication and technologies, national school nutrition program, provision of infrastructure, provision of learner transport as well as school safety and psycho-social support.

Motshekga says, “We are proposing a staggered calendar, in which coastal and inland provinces open schools on different dates.”

Minister Angie Motshekga briefs media on the state of readiness for schools in 2021: