Motshekga outlines reasons for delaying reopening of schools

A meeting held between the Council of Education, governing bodies and unions, led by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga; has resulted in the delayed reopening of schools. A report submitted to her listed several concerns and problem areas. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga outlined reasons why the reopening of schools has been delayed.

The minister briefed the media on Monday, 1 June.

Motshekga said a decision was taken after a meeting held with the Council of Education, governing bodies and unions.

She said a report submitted to her listed several concerns and problem areas.

READ: Motshekga apologises for postponing schools' readiness briefing

“Based on these reports, it became clear that the sector was at different levels of readiness. In the main, it was for this reason that the CEM determined that the sector requires more time to mop-out its state of readiness for school reopening, in order to comply with the health and safety standards on COVID-19,” said Motshekga.

The council resolved the following:

• Teachers, whose schools have already received the personal protective equipment, will be expected report for work on 01 June 2020, and prioritise the preparation of their schools to deal with the “new normal” brought about by the coronavirus;
• Provinces should finalise all their outstanding deliveries of PPEs to schools, and the outstanding provision of water and sanitation to the schools;

Reopening of schools: Dates announced for other grades
• The ongoing cleaning of schools should be finalised within the week of 01 June 2020;
• All teachers and support staff should be inducted and orientated for the new environment brought about by the COVID-19;
• In return, the teachers should induct, orientate and counsel the learners, who have already arrived at the schools, to deal with the new COVID-19 environments;
• Provinces should finalise the training of screeners, cleaners and volunteers for the national school nutrition programme ; 
• Processes related to independent schools, small schools and schools for learners with special education needs, should be managed with the representatives of these sectors.

Teachers expected at work

Teachers who are in possession of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are expected at work on Monday.

“It is critical that parents do not bring Grades 7 and 12 learners to school today; but teachers, whose PPEs have been delivered, are expected to report for work, and carry out the responsibilities I have already spelled out. More importantly, the sector has agreed that effective teaching and learning, is expected to resume on 08 June 2020,” said Motshekga.

Schools will now open on 8 June, following consultations with stakeholders over the weekend.

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Teachers and pupils should not go to schools unless adequate measures have been taken to ensure their safety. That's according to the Basic Education Minister. Courtesy #DStv403