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DA asks for clearer regulations from Education Dept

The DA said instead of halting schools for two weeks, the department should use the time to equip schools with proper COVID-19 resources.

School children make their way to school after the government allowed schools to re-open under Level 2 guidelines in Wellington on 18 May 2020. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The DA said the Education Department’s move to push back the reopening of schools for two weeks has left more questions than answers, asking when the regulations regarding the reopening will be published.

On Friday, the department announced that learning and teaching will resume on 15 February instead of 27 January as earlier said.

The department said it’s delayed the reopening of schools due to the resurgence of COVID-19 in the country.

Its announcement of a new date for the resumption of the 2021 academic year was met with mixed feelings.

The DA said instead of halting schools for two weeks, the department and other stakeholders should use the time during school holiday wisely and work to equip schools with proper COVID-19 resources to ensure the safety of teachers and leaners.

DA shadow minister of basic education Baxolile Nodada said, “The department should communicate clear regulations so that schools have enough time to comply.”

Nodada repeated the call for an urgent portfolio committee on basic education to be briefed to ensure that the delay of the reopening of schools is based on proof and provide guidance on the best way to safety reopen schools.

DBE TO ROLL OUT ONLINE LEARNING PROGRAM IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Meanwhile, the Department of Basic Education said it will roll out its online learning program across the country in public schools.

The department said it has been working with online education providers and is formulating policies to regulate it.

The department has appointed a team led by the chief director of ICT that is working to finalise the rollout and guidance so that e -leaning run at schools.

The department’s Elijah Mhlanga said: “The department already has an e-learning strategy, which says that e-learning will be a reality in the future all of our schools. But that has been overtaken by COVID-19, which has made life very difficult.”

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