Lesufi pleased with resumption of classes; planning for second COVID-19 wave

Millions of pupils returned to class on Monday morning following a precautionary break in July due to the coronavirus outbreak. Many of the pupils had not been on school grounds since March earlier this year.

FILE: Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi addressing the media in Johannesburg during a press briefing on 17 July 2020 by the provincial command council on its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Picture: @GautengProvince/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng Department of Education said that the return of more pupils on Monday had gone without any major glitches, with many schools reporting an increased attendance rate.

Millions of pupils returned to class on Monday morning following a precautionary break in July due to the coronavirus outbreak. Many of the pupils had not been on school grounds since March earlier this year.

The department said that it was confident that the academic year could be salvaged given the trimmed down curriculum.

But Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi conceded that there were some challenges relating to timetable disruptions and substitute teachers.

“Because of the numbers of learners, you can’t accommodate them in one school at the same time. This simply means that there will be learners who will be rotating daily. Generally, everything is going well, and the personal protective equipment is there and we are processing the issues of teachers who applied to work from home and those exiting the system,” Lesufi said.

With the country anticipating the second wave of COVID-19 infections, Lesufi said that the department would readjust the schooling programme.

“There is a likelihood of a second wave even though no firm date has been confirmed. So, within our planning scenario in Gauteng and national government, we have incorporated a week or two where we believe the school calendar needs to take a break so that we can accommodate that wave when it arrives,” he said.

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