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NW latest province to hold off return of grade R pupils tomorrow

It said Education MEC Mmaphefo Matsemela the decision aimed to avoid an influx of grades returning to school on Monday and to save lives.

North West Education MEC Mmaphefo Matsemela. Picture: @NWPGOV/Twitter

BRITS, North West – As many wait in anticipation for the Sunday afternoon address by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, to give an update on the return of pupils to class, the North West education department announced it had opted to halt the return on grade R pupils to schools.

Last week, the national department made an about-turn on the return of nearly 6 million learners to school from Monday, 6 July 2020 – amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in the country.

In its revised plan, only pupils in grades R, 6 and 11 should be back in class.

However, the North West department of education joins Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal in delaying the return of grade R pupils.

In a statement, it said: “After consulting with the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga regarding phasing in of grades next week, the North West Department of Education agreed to allow only grades 6 and 11 to return to school on Monday, 06 July 2020.”

It said Education MEC Mmaphefo Matsemela the decision aimed to avoid an influx of grades returning to school on Monday and to save lives.

"As the provincial department, we opted to delay phasing in of Grade R learners on the initial 06 July. This is because we considered a gradual phasing-in approach by halting the return of Grade R learners while Grade 6 and 11 are settling in. This is the safest approach as opposed to the inundation of all three grades at once. By so doing we are continuing to save lives of our learners in adjusting to the new normal", said MEC Matsemela.

The department said school principals and parents will be informed of the return date for the more than 50,000 grade R.

The expected number of learners in North West schools is 116,873. This is made up of 68 384 Grade 6s and 48, 489 Grade 11s.

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