DBE ready to reopen schools, will take cue from President’s Sunday address

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said the sector is ready to open schools depending on what President Cyril Ramaphosa says during his address to the nation on the alert level 4 lockdown on Sunday.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga gave an update on her department's preparedness for the next phase of teaching and learning on Saturday, 24 July 2021. Picture: Screengrab

JOHANNESBURG – Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said the sector is ready to open schools depending on what President Cyril Ramaphosa says during his scheduled address to the country on Sunday.

Motshekga, on Saturday morning, gave an update on her department's preparedness for the next phase of teaching and learning.

“We have held countless consultative sessions to deliberate on the reopening of schools and depending on the President’s confirmation tomorrow – when he has his family meeting – we want to report that as a sector we are ready. The last time the announcement was made, it was that schools will be reopened on the 26th and that’s why we are working towards the 26th; but again, the President will confirm tomorrow.”

The minister said the department has lost a number of teachers due to COVID-19 complications.

“Between March 2020 and February [2021] we lost almost 1,678 educators – and that’s a very modest number that we are citing.”

The education sector has not been spared the onslaught of COVID-19, as over 30,000 teachers tested positive since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country.

Motshegka said too many teachers and support staff had died.

“We’ve lost; as a sector; an MEC, a head of department and a president of one of our teacher unions and quite a number of senior staff within provincial and national departments."

She said the sector has vaccinated over 500,000 teachers and staff so far.

Schools were closed for at least a month due to adjusted alert level 4 lockdown restrictions.

WATCH: Minister Angie Motshekga briefs media on the state of readiness for the reopening of schools