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Motshekga to sign directives this week on phased reopening of schools

The minister met with the Council of Education Ministers (CEM) on Monday to assess the progress made towards the reopening of schools in the country.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga at a briefing on 19 May 2020 in Pretoria explains the department's plans to reopen schools amid the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga is expected to sign directives this week that would address various issues in the sector including travel permits, matric exams, safety measures, and mass events in schools.

Motshekga met with the Council of Education Ministers (CEM) on Monday to assess the progress made towards the reopening of schools in the country.

From next Monday, grade 7 and matric pupils are expected to return to the classroom for the resumption of the 2020 academic calendar.

However, with a number of provinces yet to receive their personnel protective equipment, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) acknowledged that not all schools would be able to reopen next week.

Motshekga had instructed provinces to dedicate this week to mopping up and finalising all outstanding matters before pupils could return to school from Monday.

“If the school is not ready, no one should go there because we don’t want to compromise the lives of people and we are not saying people should go at all cost, readiness is important,” said DBE spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga.

The department was under pressure to ensure strict measures such as water provision, basic hygiene and sanitation, psycho-social support, and the recruitment and appointment of screeners and cleaners before any school could be given the green light to reopen.

Meanwhile, Motshekga was expected to meet the CEM again at the end of the week to get feedback on the status of provinces.

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