SA set for schools reopening on 15 Feb, health & safety a priority - Dept

Learners in public schools In January, the department announced a two-week delay in the school calendar following an increase of COVID-19 cases in the country.

FILE: Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG – South Africa's public schools are ready to receive hundreds of thousands of pupils back into classrooms on 15 February, with the health and safety of children, staff and teachers a top priority.

This was announced by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on Sunday, 14 February, when she briefed media on the state of readiness for public schools, which will officially reopen on Monday following a two-week delay.

In January, the department announced a two-week delay in the school calendar following an increase of COVID-19 cases in the country.

Teacher unions had previously raised concerns about the safety of learners and teachers, with the department assuring South Africans that measures have been put in place to address the potential spread of COVID-19 in schools.

"Our Consolidated Directions, issued in terms of the Regulations, and published in terms of the Disaster Management Act of 2002, focusing on the reopening of schools and measures to address, prevent and combat the spread of COVID-19, were gazetted on 12 February 2021," Motshekga said.

"In the Consolidate Directions, we emphasise the critical importance of vigilance and strict adherence to the health and safety protocols, in order to save lives. The Directions have also been distributed to schools for implementation.

"We will continue to maintain the delicate balance between health and safety in schools on the one hand, while on the other, we deal with the curriculum gaps, identified during the 2020 academic year. Senior managers in the Sector, under the leadership of the Director-General, have been working very hard to strengthen the already existing plans for 2021."

WATCH LIVE: Motshekga briefs media on the reopening of public schools.

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