COVID-19: Key points from Angie Motshekga's plan

Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, announced grade sevens and twelves will be the first groups to start learning. She says cabinet and the National Coronavirus Command Council have approved the decision. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG – Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced that Grade 7 and 12 will be the first group of learners to start learning on 1 June.

Schools have been closed for over two months in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19.

SA lockdown: Mixed reaction to phased reopening of schools 

Motshekga said the Cabinet and the National Command Council have approved the decision.

All teachers are expected to report to school on 25 May.

Below is a list of some key points from the minister’s briefing:


  • Parents can apply for homeschooling

The minister said the department will understand if parents decide not to send their children to school.

However, she said the future of the rest of the pupils cannot be determined based on the few with underlying issues.

VIDEO: School pupils to return in phases 

“If you still feel anxious and doubtful then it is understandable that you can’t send your child to school but that can’t determine the future of every child.

SASSA allows you to home school, there are organisations for homeschooling, you can home school but you have to register,” she said.

  • New school calendar to be gazetted soon

Motshekga said the changes to the 2020 academic calendar will have an impact on the 2021 academic calendar. The new school calendar will be gazetted soon.

“The revised school calendar will be gazetted soon and it will indicate the opening and closing dates and the breaks between and we will work with provinces to ensure that no school is left behind,” Motshekga said.

  • Special schools

The minister said the department is working with organisations to help develop a strategy for the phasing in of special schools.

READ: COVID-19: Education unions unhappy with department

“During consultations with social partners it became clear that we need a different approach when it comes to special schools and we are working with organisations who are leaders in that sector and they are advising us on the best way forward regarding the phased approach of special schools,” she said.

  • Spacing and screening of pupils

The minister says part of the reason the department has decided on the phase-in approach was due to lack of space in many schools.

“Spacing is part of making us phase the arrival of learners. If we had enough space tomorrow then I would have said all the children can come to school.”

She said learners will be screened daily.

“There must be testing every day. So to the grandmother, we will screen your child on a daily basis. If your child has a temperature then we will have to work with a health to ensure that child gets screened and that also helps the child,” she added.

  • School transportation

The department is working with the Department of Transport to ensure safety protocols are adhered to in school transportation. 

Motshekga has called on parents to declare if a child has any underlying conditions before they go back to school.

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

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The NICD has another Clinician Hotline to improve #COVID19 communication and support for healthcare providers. The Clinician Hotline is 0800 11 1131, operating 24 hrs. The Public Hotline is 0800 029 999 also operating 24hrs.


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