Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga will visit three schools in Randfontein, Gauteng, to check on their readiness as the 2022 academic year kicks off in inland provinces.
She says classes will continue on a rotational basis in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19 as learners return to school.
Coastal schools will reopen next week.
The video below is the full interview with Minister Motshekga:
Meanwhile, parents of learners of the Tirelong Secondary School, outside Kroondal in the North West, and the provincial education department have still not come to an agreement about where learners should start the new school year.
The school was badly vandalised over the December holidays and no learners can be accommodated there.
Parents are apprehensive about their children attending three farm schools in the area.
Tirelong Secondary School, which consist of 430 learners from Grade 8 to 12, was built and donated by Kroondal Platinum Mine in 2010.
Over the last two years, the school has been a target of vandalism.
During the December holidays, it was targeted again and roofs, window panes, taps and all electronic equipment were taken.
The school currently has no running water or electricity and the provincial education department was forced to intervene.
Learners and 32 educators are to be temporarily accommodated at three of the nearby farm schools.
One such school is Moedwil combined school, which is about 45 kilometres away from Kroondal.
The school has a hostel and enough classrooms to accommodate the additional learners.
Moedwil School Principal Godfrey Dube explains: “The department has briefed me about the challenge that is experienced at Tirelong and I have shared the information with my SGB as well. So we are all positive to assist in this regard. I believe the school has the capacity to assist, indication was about grade 10s about 100 of them.”
But, the intervention by the department seems to be met with some resistance.
Cecilia Makondere, who has two kids in the school, explains her concerns.
”I disagree for the children to go wherever they are asked to go, reasons being, they are in a farm, and then again they are taking them to the other farm again. Why can’t they fix this place and then give children mobile classrooms temporarily at the townships. No they must take them somewhere else, not at the farm again,” she explains.
There are mixed reactions among learners.
“First of all I feel bad about what they have done, and I don’t like what they are doing by talking to our parents as if it is them that are supposed to attend school. We’ve got our own challenges, we don’t want to be taken to those schools.”
“This thing of relocating to other schools is good and bad at the same time. It’s only good for the grade 12s but for other grades [is] not. For other kids, their parents are very much uncomfortable when they are far away from them.”
Parents have requested that temporary classrooms be put up at Tirelong Secondary School.
It remains to be seen whether the new academic year will have a smooth start.
Rustenburg Moedwil combined school ready to accommodate learners, teachers: