Scientific advice will guide govt on reopening of schools - Motshekga

The minister announced on Thursday that no pupils would be returning to the classroom this month.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga gives an update on plans around the 2020 academic year. Picture: YouTube screengrab.

JOHANNESBURG - Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on Thursday said that the final decision on when schools would reopen in the country was in the hands of Cabinet.

The minister announced that no pupils would be returning to the classroom this month.

She said that teachers and officials in the sector would use this period to ensure that schools complied with COVID-19 health and safety measures before pupils could return to the classroom.

Motshekga said that there was no set date yet for when pupils would return to the classroom.

She said that the sector would use this month to implement measures that would ensure schools were equipped before any teaching and learning could resume.

“All these plans have to be subjected to verification or approval by the Department of Health, but also on partnerships with them to say, ‘if we detect that a child, for instance, has a raised temperature how do we immediately respond’. We also have to align our systems as departments and as government,” Motshekga said.

Motshekga said the decision on when schools would resume would be guided by scientific advice.

SCHOOL CALENDAR YET TO BE GAZETTED

Meanwhile, Motshekga said that while the final school calendar was yet to be gazetted, 1 June 2020 was set down as the tentative date for matrics and grade 7 pupils to return to school.

“We won’t allow any school to resume teaching and learning if they don’t meet the health and safety standards,” she said.

Motshekga said that during this month, schools would begin receiving material that was required for safety measures.

The minister said the system was preparing for the country’s biggest matric exam yet with over 1 million candidates as the June rewrite exams would be merged with the final exams.

“The exams that were meant to start on 4 May will be merged with the November examinations,” Motshekga said.

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For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.