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Plans for return of grade 7 and 12 pupils still on track - MEC Mshengu

The province’s Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu expected all schools to be fully prepared for the return of teachers by Thursday.

KZN Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu at a media briefing in Durban on 24 May 2020 on the province’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Picture: @DBE_KZN/Twitter.

DURBAN - KwaZulu-Natal government officials on Sunday said despite postponing the return of teachers until Thursday, plans to resume classes for matric and grade 7 pupils on 1 June were still on track.

Provincial authorities said the return of teachers to schools had to be postponed at the last minute after suppliers failed to deliver all the necessary protective gear to schools.

The province’s Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu expected all schools to be fully prepared for the return of teachers by Thursday.

KZN has the largest education system in the country. There were close to 360,000 pupils in matric and grade 7 alone.

Since the national lockdown was implemented on 27 March, 463 schools were vandalised in the province.

Mshengu said despite the challenges, they were determined to complete the 2020 academic year.

“I can confirm that the province has procured enough personal protective equipment [PPEs] for all the schools for the period of six months,” Mshengu said.

“The reason as to why we are shifting from Monday to Thursday was to ensure that we allow the delivery of all these PPEs to schools,” he added.

The MEC called on communities to assist in protecting the province’s over 6,000 schools as they prepared to deliver safety gear this week.

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