New school calendar to be gazetted soon

The National Command Council has approved plans to reopen schools from the first of June – with Grades 7 and 12 resuming classes

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has confirmed that the new school calendar will be gazetted soon as it will have an impact in 2021.

She announced in Pretoria on Tuesday evening that the National Command Council has approved plans to reopen schools from the first of June – with Grades 7 and 12 resuming classes.

Motshekga also confirmed that special schools will be managed separately regarding the resumption of classes, taking into consideration the rehabilitation and well-being of those pupils.

Motshekga says learners expected back at school next month will still have the nutrition feeding scheme in place, transportation and proper sanitisation.

“The revised school calendar will be gazetted soon and it will indicate the opening and closing dates and the breaks between. We will work with provinces to make sure that no school is left behind because the 2020 academic calendar is going to have impact for the 2021 school calendar.”

“On special schools, during consultations with social partners it became clear that we need a different approach when it comes to special schools. We are working with organisations who are leaders in that sector … advising us on the best way forward regarding the phased approach of special schools,” explains the minister.

Equal Education raises concerns

Equal Education has raised concern over the state of readiness of rural and township schools for the phased reopening of schools.

NGOs and teacher unions have called for the Department to ensure that learners are not at risk when they return to school.

“We have concerns or are cautious around the just-in-time delivery proposition that’s been put on the table by the Department of Basic Education. We’re worried that the Department of Basic Education or provincial departments especially the rural provinces may not be ready, in fact, to meet the standard operating procedures or protocols that have been put on the table by the Department of Basic Education,” says Equal Education’s Noncedo Madubedube.