WC education readying for June reopening of schools

The Basic Education Ministry this week announced 1 June has been set down as the tentative date for matriculants and grade 7 pupils to return to school.

The Basic Education Ministry this week announced 1 June has been set down as the tentative date for matriculants and grade 7 pupils to return to school. Picture: 123rf

CAPE TOWN – Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schafer said officials have already started working to ensure schools are ready to receive learners come the start of June.

The Basic Education Ministry this week announced 1 June has been set down as the tentative date for matriculants and grade 7 pupils to return to school.

The return of teachers and the remaining grades will be staggered.

MEC Schafer said she is aware of one school in the province that does not have access to a running water supply – officials are now working to find a solution for that problem.

Hygiene packs have been ordered and are expected to be delivered in the coming week.

Schafer said on balance they are relatively prepared, but she is concerned about overcrowding when all grades return to school.

The time crunch is a big factor in their planning – with limited funding and just a few weeks to get everything in place.

“There is no way we are going to get classrooms delivered, we just don’t have the funding for it and even if we did, it’s not possible to have classrooms installed until in a month or two.”
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So, they are considering all possibilities to ensure the system gets moving again and is safe.
“We are busy trying to work on some options including seeing if some of the children can go every alternate day. It’s really not something we want to do, but we might have to.”

The MEC said measures have been put in place to shorten the curriculum for learners up to grade 11, and matriculants will be given extra support to ensure they will be able to complete the year successfully.