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Cabinet expected to make final decision today on closing schools

Teacher unions met with the Department of Basic Education on Tuesday again to relay their concerns and pleaded with government to shut schools to protect pupils and teachers from contracting the virus.

Picture: @ECDOEZA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Cabinet is expected to meet on Wednesday to make a final decision about whether schools will be closed until the end of the COVID-19 peak in the country.

Teacher unions met with the Department of Basic Education (DBE) on Tuesday again to relay their concerns and pleaded with government to shut schools to protect pupils and teachers from contracting the virus.

There was speculation that an announcement could be made later on Wednesday.

The National Teachers' Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa) said that they're hoping the matter will be finalised soon.

“But we don’t have an emphatic response and I will leave that to the minister to announce later. We certainly hope that the announcement will be one we wanted,” Naptosa’s executive director Basil Manuel.

Manuel said that Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga would report back to unions at 7pm.

Teachers and parents in various communities have been protesting over the past few weeks, calling for schools to close as infections increase.

Pupils in grades R, 6, 7, 11, and 12 are officially back at school, but the DBE made it clear from the start that parents could make the call to keep their children at home and home school them.

Some unions called for pupils and teachers to stay at home for at least the next month, while others wanted grade 7 and 12 pupils to return sooner.

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