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Sadtu keeping a close eye on DBE as pupils across SA return to school

Sadtu was still displeased with Monday’s phasing in of more pupils – saying the decision was taken without consultation.

Sadtu keeping an eye on DBE as pupils across SA return to school . Picture: 123rf

DURBAN/CAPE TOWN – As more pupils return to classes this week, the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) said it would be monitoring how the basic education department ensures physical distancing.

Sadtu was still displeased with Monday’s phasing in of more pupils – saying the decision was taken without consultation.

However – the basic education department has previously rejected this claim, saying the views of stakeholders had always been considered during the lockdown.

Pupils from grades R to 11 were expected to resume classes from Monday, joining matrics and grade 7’s who were already back at school.

Schools have been urged to ensure that they operate at 50% of their capacity and alternate the attendance of grades.

Sadtu’s Nkosana Dollopi said: “Now that we will be having more grades, we would have interest to check whether the department did appoint more teachers and whether there are enough classes available. When the President closed schools, it was to give the department an opportunity to attend to all those outstanding issues.”

At the same time, the basic education department’s Elijah Mhlanga said they were confident that schools would be able to manage challenges during level 2 of the lockdown.
Children in grades R to 4 and grades 6, 9, 10 and 11 were back after months of absence.

Grades 5 and 8 would only return to school next Monday.

Mhlanga said parents had the option to keep their children home and school them there if they were worried about the virus.

“They are allowed to be back in schools, but schools would have communicated to parents to say ‘don’t bring your child today, bring the child tomorrow because today we have another group coming through’. So it means all those grades are now allowed to be in school at different times,”

In the Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schafer said they were ready to roll.

“In order to maintain the required 1.5 metre physical distance between learners, schools have submitted temporary revised education plans on how to manage this and each school is implementing a unique plan. Some of the models chosen by schools include have grades at school on alternating weeks or days or in shifts.”

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