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Motshekga: Support on offer for parents who're keeping children at home

About 2.5 million grade R, 6 and 11 pupils will return to school this morning after four months of being home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FILE: Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - As the country’s schools prepare to welcome more pupils for learning on Monday morning, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said that there was support for parents who were not comfortable with their children returning to the classroom.

About 2.5 million grade R, 6 and 11 pupils will return to school this morning after 4 months of being home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is in addition to the 1.8 million grade 7s and 12s who started school last month.

Since then, 2,740 teachers have been infected by COVID-19 while 1,260 pupils also caught the virus.

That is less than 1% of the teacher population and about 0.01% of the pupils.

The Basic Education Department said that 38% of the country’s principals indicated that some households were choosing to keep their children at home.

Parents are at liberty to do so in terms of the South African Schools Act, but they must inform the Education Department's district office of their decision to take up teaching duties at home.

Motshekga said that parents must understand their responsibilities if they chose this option: “The return rate has been up to 98%, so to dedicate too much time for 2% at the expense of 98% might be a very difficult thing to balance.”

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has gone into much detail on the homeschooling options for parents in the province.

“Our remote education programmes include learning topics, summarising of topics, step-by-step guidelines for tutoring, assessment task memorandum.”

Lesufi said that parents who chose the home education option could also apply on the Gauteng Education Department website and they would receive a response within seven days.

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