Home South Africa News New twist: Grades 7 and 12 pupils to return to school next...

New twist: Grades 7 and 12 pupils to return to school next Monday

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Pupils in grades 7 and 12 are expected to return to school on Monday next week.

The department of basic education said only school management teams (SMTs), teachers and non-teaching staff will report for duty at schools on Monday.

This comes an informed decision by the Council of Education Ministers (CEM) to only have the SMTs, teachers and non-teaching staff to prepare for the arrival of learners.

Earlier today, the briefing by the minister of basic education, Angie Motshekga on school readiness which was scheduled to take place on Sunday evening was postponed for Monday.

According to education spokesperson, CEM met yesterday to assess the state of readiness for the reopening of schools.

“CEM received a report from the consortium of service providers coordinated by the National Education Collaboration Trust on the External Evaluation and Monitoring of the state of readiness. Rand Water, as an Implementing Agent delivering water to 3,500 schools, also presented its report.

“The Heads of Education Departments Committee (HEDCOM), also presented its technical report. All three reports converged on the fact that a substantial number of schools would not be ready for the reopening tomorrow (Monday), albeit tremendous progress had been made by most provinces, which overall reflected 80% state of readiness. CEM was concerned that in some provinces personal protective equipment for learners in particular, had not been received; and some schools had not been made ready for the arrival of teachers and learners,” Mhlanga said.

He said CEM then took decisions, which have since been shared with teacher unions, school governing body associations, independent schools’ associations, the SA Human Rights Commission, Principals Association, South African National Association for Specialised Education, and other stakeholders.

“Meetings have taken place since yesterday [Saturday] and today [Sunday], in which we shared the outcome of the reports and the proposed course of action.

Provincial and district officials should ensure that health, safety, and social-distancing requirements are strictly adhered to when teachers arrive,” Mhlanga said.

He said this whole coming week must be used for the proper orientation and training of teachers, the mopping and ramping of all supply chain matters, and final touches to the readiness of each facility for the arrival of learners.

“We have, however, received reports that indicate that some learners in boarding schools have already arrived. We urge the schools to continue with orientation of the learners in terms of the health and safety procedures that should be in place,” he said.

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Source: Sowetan