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Pupil safety top priority for DBE ahead of next school return phase

Minister Angie Motshekga said that officials were working hard to ensure that all schools were COVID-19 compliant before receiving pupils.

Picture: 123rf

CAPE TOWN - The Basic Education Department has again stressed that it will continue to monitor pupils' return to school, with a sharp focus on safety.

Minister Angie Motshekga said that officials were working hard to ensure that all schools were COVID-19 compliant before receiving pupils.

The department has issued a set of directions to further provide clarity and guidance on several matters affecting the Basic Education sector in the COVID-19 environment. The directions have already been signed by Motshekga and issued in the Government Gazette for implementation.

The department's new directions confirm Monday, 6 July as the date for learners in most grades to return to school.

This will see pre-grade R and grade R, grades 1 to 3, grade 6 and grade 10 return to class.

While the department's putting preparations in place to ensure pupil safety, calls by principals, governing bodies, teachers unions and parents for schools to remain closed continue to grow.

On Thursday morning, protesting teachers gathered in Athlone and along Prince George Drive holding placards reading #ChildrensLivesMatter, #TeachersLivesMatter, Lose a Year or Lose a Child, and Protect Lives, Not the Curriculum!

The Western Cape Education Department said that according to its latest stats, 375 staff members at 236 schools and 61 pupils have tested positive for COVID-19.