Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has announced that all learners will make a full return to school with effect from Monday. She made the announcement in a media briefing in Pretoria.
Most schools, excluding the majority of former model C schools, have been conducting rotational learning. This is because of the adherence to the one-metre social distancing requirement in the classroom during the coronavirus pandemic.
Motshekga says they have made the necessary adjustments to welcome learners back to full- time learning.
“So in preparation for the return of all schools to daily attendance, provinces have made preparations around the following important areas. First we had to communicate with parents to make sure they understand full schooling is resuming. We have adjusted the school timetable, we have adjusted our school assessment programmes. All matters relating to assessments and curriculum have been attended to. We have looked at how we really are managing the environment now with the new norm.”
Education Minister Angie Motshekga updates on the state of readiness for the reopening of schools
Health department raises concerns over reopening of schools
The Health Department says there has been a slight increase of new COVID-19 infections in Gauteng, Mpumalanga and the Free State in the last seven days.
New infections in Gauteng increased by 17% while Mpumalanga and the Free state recorded 17% and 20% increases respectively.
Briefing the media on Friday morning, Health Minister Joe Phaahla said the overall infections have, however, reached a plateau, meaning that there’s no serious decline and no worrying rise in infections.
Phaahla says the rise in new infections in these provinces can be attributed to the opening of schools.
“This plateau and the slowing down in the rate of new infections can be linked to the opening of schools. In support of this, is also the observation that in the last 14 days we have witnessed more infections amongst the below 20 years, that is the school-going age. Some colleagues in GP practices have also reported similar observations of seeing more of school-going age, below 19 years testing positive in bigger numbers,” says Phaahla.