Public schools count down to opening, Motshekga will outline readiness today

Minister Angie Motshekga will announce the readiness of her department to welcome learners back to school after it delayed the 2021 academic calendar, by at least two weeks last month, due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

FILE: Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga monitoring the start of matric exams at Sekano-Ntoane High School on Soweto on the morning of 5 November 2020. Picture: Twitter/@DBE_SA

CAPE TOWN – As public schools were expected to open on Monday, Basic Education Minister Angie Motsekga will on Sunday afternoon outline her department's state of readiness.

The basic education department delayed the 2021 academic calendar by at least two weeks last month due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

Schools in the Western Cape have said they had all the necessary protocols in place to welcome pupils on Monday.

The Western Cape Education Department's Bronagh Hammond said about 11,000 pupils had yet to be placed in schools.

“Many of these are late inquiries, so we are getting inquiries with parents that had not applied last year during the enrolment stage. We are working hard to assist these parents.”

She said placement processes would be streamlined once schools were opened, as learner numbers and other factors can then be reassessed.

Hammond also said parents should not be anxious about sending their children back to the classroom, as schools are adhering to the health and safety directives.

“We do encourage parents to send their children to school. We are doing all we can to ensure their safety and our educators’ safety as well.”

More than 1.1 million pupils were expected to return to over 1,400 schools across the province.

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