95% of schools supplied with COVID-19 related PPE: Motshekga

The department says schools are allowed to deviate from this plan for health, safety and social distancing reasons. 

File: The department says schools are allowed to deviate from this plan for health, safety and social distancing reasons. 

Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Basic Education says that about 95-percent of schools have been provided with COVID-19 related Personal Protective Equipment.

This was announced by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga during a media briefing to update the country on schools' readiness for reopening.

South African schools have been closed since mid-March

Schools were scheduled to reopen for Grade 7 and 12 pupils last week, but the Basic Education Department announced that they will reopen on 8 June.

School management teams, teachers and support staff have since returned to school.

READ: Schools ready to open come Monday: Angie Motshekga

Motshekga says there will be no school that will resume, if not ready to do so.

"We can now say with confidence that about 95-percent of our schools have been ably provided with the COVID-19 related imperatives," the minister said.

"The sector, with the assistance of our partners, will strive to deal with the remaining five-percent to ensure that the unfettered rights to health, safety and basic education for all South African children are protected.

"The golden rule is, there will be no school that will resume, if not ready to do so. For the remaining five-percent or so learners alternative measures have been developed by different districts such as temporarily using neighboring schools, using underutilised spaces in boarding schools and putting other learners in camps.

"Because some of the alternatives need consultations with parents, provinces will be engaging parents and following the appropriate protocols to get parental concessions. All of this we agreed should be finalised during the course of the week and recovery programs be implemented."

Meanwhile, five major teacher unions have now given their blessing to schools reopening.

- Coronavirus Hotline Number: 0800 029 999 from 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.

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eNCA