South African schools to reopen on June 8, the Department of Basic Education announced on Sunday.

Schools to re-open on 1 June for grades 7 and 12

DURBAN – Schools in South Africa will reopen on 1 June for grade 7 and 12 learners and they will be tested on a daily basis for Covid-19 symptoms. This was announced by Minister of basic education Angie Motshekga on Tuesday .

“All schools, even in metropolitan areas, will reopen when other schools will reopen. we will look at small schools and special schools differently,” said Motshekga.

“We will start with grades 7 and 12 and small schools. The other grades will follow in due course.

In reopening of schools we have been guided by three basic principles; to save lives. 

Learners and teachers who are in other provinces will be able to return to their residence. Arrangements are in place.

“We are confident that the reopening of school across provinces will happen as outlined in the protocol that has been developed. The reports we got are showing that preparations have been taking place and good progress has been made.

All learners, educators and support staff will receive orientation and training at the start of the school reopening commencing with Grade 7 and 12,” said Motshekga.

The Nutrition Programme will also be reopened for all learners when Grades 12 and 7  return to schools. All food handlers will be supplied with the required personal protective equipment including gloves, aprons and cloth masks.

Motshekga also condemned the vandalism of schools during the national lockdown. She says 1577 schools have been vandalised, damaged and burnt during the lockdown.

Four Hundred and Sixty Three (463) of the schools are in KwaZulu-Natal and 336 are in Gauteng. This is truly a disturbing trend that will set us back in our efforts of trying to get back the academic programme. We appeal to members of the public to help the police bring the perpetrators to justice,” said Motshekga.

On special schools the minister says they are working with organisations on the best way forward regarding the phased-approach of the special schools. 

“Our planning and procurement has considered the needs of learners with disabilities and those in special schools. Provinces have put in place plans that will ensure that no child is compromised,” said the minister.

The minister also indicated that they are working with the Department of Transport to ensure that safety protocols are maintained. 

“Everybody to sanitize hands on entering the bus. Manage distance between learners in the bus. Compulsory wearing of masks throughout the school day, starting before boarding transport.,” she said.

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