Primary school pupils must return to daily school attendance from July - DBE

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on Friday gazetted the return to daily school attendance for primary school pupils and pupils with special educational needs.

FILE: Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. Picture: @DBE_SA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – Primary school pupils (in grades R to 7) will from July return to daily school attendance, as directed by the Basic Education department. This will see an end to the implementation of rotational timetabling at primary schools in the public sector.

On Saturday, the department released a statement that confirmed that Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga had gazetted and issued directions which state that primary school pupils must return to daily school attendance from 26 July 2021 – provided that the risk-adjusted differentiated strategy for COVID-19 is implemented.

“Based on the risk-adjusted differentiated strategy, schools for pupils with special education needs (grades R to 12) must also return to the daily attendance and traditional timetabling model from 26 July,” read the statement posted by DBE spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga.

The school term for most public schools ends on 9 July, and schools are scheduled to reopen on 26 July.

This comes as the department recently suspended contact sports in schools with immediate effect, due to an increase in the number of COVID-19 infections, earlier this month.

READ: Contact sport suspended with immediate effect at all SA schools

The Department of Basic Education said non-contact sports training in schools could continue provided that all social distancing, hygiene, and safety measures would be observed and there would be no physical contact between participants during training.

"The Gazette also deals with the issues around the suspension of contact sports. The Gazette has a list of the sporting activities that are not allowed to take place at this time in schools until further notice," Mhlanga said on Saturday.

SCHOOL CLOSURE RUMOURS ARE FAKE

Earlier in the week, the basic education department moved to dispel rumours that schools would be closing.

A digitally manipulated picture had been circulating, in which it is said the Minister would be making an announcement about the closure of schools on Wednesday and reopening on 28 June 2021, purportedly because of the growing COVID-19 infections in the country.

ALSO READ: Dept of basic education says school closure rumours fake

The department said this was fake news, saying members of the public should "be vigilant and verify sources of information they read before sharing it on social media".

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