Reopening of schools ‘not set in stone’, says Basic Education

Reopening of schools ‘not set in stone’, says Basic Education

The Department of Basic Education says it is flexible in the phased approach to the reopening of schools.

Angie Motshekga 8 June

The department briefed Parliament’s education committee on Tuesday on the situation at schools since it was reopened for grades 7 and 12.


The department announced that there are 775 schools affected by Covid-19, with 523 pupils infected and 1169 staff members.


The department’s director-general Mathanzima Mweli says it has made no secret of the fact that its plans are not set in stone. 

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According to new regulations, Grades R, 1, 2, 3, 6, 10 and 11 will be able to return to school from 6 July.


"Although we are saying 52% of learners that we have planned for, we are not fixed to bring the 52%.


"We've heard that community infections are flaring up and we discussed this last night with unions, we've also been discussing it at head-com.


"We are saying our plan is extremely flexible, we are not just going to push for the 52% to come if we can see that there is danger," Mweli said.


Mweli also addressed the issue of schools that could not re-open on time because of vandalism.


"Vandalism is a real problem in the system and it's a drawback in the system and we have seen many schools suffering electricity and water reticulation because of vandalism.


He also defended Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga, saying that she has not been making decisions by herself.


"We've also seen personal attacks against the minister purporting that the minister has taken the decision to re-open the schools as an individual which is not true.


"The way we operate in government it cannot happen. It's even more stringent now during covid19. You can't do anything unless cabinet gives it's stamp of approval.”

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