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Motshekga confident in Gauteng's readiness to resume schooling on 1 June

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said she was confident and satisfied with the province’s readiness to welcome pupils back to school next week despite concerns from parents and teachers unions.

Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga at a media briefing on 16 March 2020 on plans by government to curb the spread of the coronavirus in South Africa. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

KEMPTON PARK - Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on Thursday said that several schools across Gauteng had not received the green light to reopen on Monday and had been given an extra week to prepare for the resumption of the 2020 academic year.

However, the minister said that she was confident and satisfied with the province’s readiness to welcome pupils back to school next week despite concerns from parents and teachers unions.

Motshekga visited some schools on Thursday to ensure that they were well prepared and equipped for grade 7 and matric pupils.

Motshekga said that some of the schools assessed on Thursday, including Hoërskool Kempton Park and Ivory Park Secondary, would gradually phase in learning.

“They want to use Monday and Tuesday to get them to settle in and resume teaching on Wednesday. So, I am quite comfortable with this because they are spacing themselves in case there are a few hitches.”

Motshekga said schools that were not yet ready to welcome pupils for reasons including a shortage of personal protective gear would be given a 10-day grace period.

“If there are schools, which have been vandalised and the province has not been able to get classes to start on time or do repairs, we have given ourselves 10 days to deal with all these issues.”

The department said schools could close again if officials encountered difficulties in trying to keep learning environments safe.