Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on Monday briefed the media on the basic education sector’s response to the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic currently sweeping the country.
Motshekga announced that public schools will reopen on 19 July after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Sunday evening the country would move to level 4 lockdown, with all schools expected to close from Wednesday.
“By Wednesday, that’s the last day for pupils to be in schools. So, teaching will stop on Wednesday. Then we will use Thursday and Friday for teachers and managers to close the schools properly,” Motshekga said, speaking at Seemahale Secondary School in Botshabelo, Free State.
Minister Angie Motshekga: schools will reopen on 19 July.
Schools must make arrangements that for the remaining 3 days, learners still receive their meals.
— Dep. Basic Education (@DBE_SA) June 28, 2021
The minister said the Council of Ministers of Education (CEM) met on Monday morning to deliberate on the country’s move to level 4 lockdown, which is set to last for two weeks.
The Free State province is on course to complete its vaccine roll-out programme for educators and school staff by Friday.
Vaccinations for teachers began last week with more than 200,000 school staff inoculated so far using the sing-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
These are the eight key points from Motshekga’s address:
- Pupils in public and independent or private schools should be released for the winter break on Wednesday, 30 June.
- School management teams, teachers, pupils in hostel facilities, and pupils with special education needs waiting for parents to pick them up, should report at school until Friday, 2 July.
- Public schools will reopen on 19 July instead of 26 July as it was originally scheduled in this year’s school calendar.
- Schools will make the necessary arrangements to continue to provide meals to those pupils who are beneficiaries of the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP).
- The usual winter vacation learner support programme for pupils in Grades 11 and 12 will continue. These catch-up programmes are organised by provinces, districts and schools. They are expected to continue under very strict conditions in compliance with the Covid-19 health and safety protocols.
- Pupils writing their May/June 2021 supplementary exams will continue writing and marking will also continue.
- The vaccination programme for the basic education sector staff will proceed as planned until 8 July. Workers are advised to adhere to their schedules and to strictly follow Covid-19 protocols as stipulated in the regulations.
- Schools designated as vaccination sites will remain open to continue with the vaccination programme.