The Department of Basic Education is working hard to ensure all schools are COVID-19 compliant before they can receive learners. Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said schools that aren’t ready to reopen next month won’t welcome back more pupils.
Motshekga was addressing Parliament on Thursday after the department announced the second phase of pupils’ return to class. The department has stated it will ensure adherence to all health and safety requirements.
Community members and even officials were urged to desist from visiting schools as this increases the risk of infection.
“Our only appeal today is for the members to limit their oversight especially of physically visiting schools amidst the COVID-19 lockdown measures,” the minister said.
The department stated that all schools have isolation rooms for when someone presents with any COVID-19 symptoms and no school will be opened until it meets the minimum COVID-19 standards.
Exams for the National Senior Certificate will start in November and learners are reportedly being assisted to meet the requirements of the curriculum.
The minister said recent spikes in infection could not be attributed to schools reopening.
“In terms of the epidemiology of the COVID-19, it is unlikely that the cases picked up at schools across the country since June reopening originated from our facilities,” the minister said.
“These are classic community transmission cases. Our schools must prepare for the eventuality of the community transmissions becoming the bushfires in our schools. It is not a matter of if but when.”
Motshekga said schools should be viewed as the epicentres of surveillance, screening, contact tracing, and testing of cases that otherwise would have fallen through the cracks. Coronavirus Hotline Number: 0800 029 999 from 8 am to 4 pm, Monday to Friday
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