Motshekga calls for social distancing at schools to be reduced

The Basic Education minister said that while children were back in the classroom in inland provinces, negotiations were continuing to reduce the COVID-19 regulations in schools, requiring children to be separated by up to a meter.

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

JOHANNESBURG - As thousands of children from inland schools are expected to start their academic year on Wednesday, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga is calling for the social distancing space between pupils to be reduced.

All COVID-19 protocols remain in place, which includes social distancing between desks of up to a meter.

Motshekga said that they were consulting the Cooperative Governance Department to further reduce this to allow more children to attend school.

The Basic Education minister said that while children were back in the classroom in inland provinces, negotiations were continuing to reduce the COVID-19 regulations in schools, requiring children to be separated by up to a meter.

But with some schools, which simply don't have the space, it is excluding some children from attending class full time.

Motshekga said that they were hoping to change this.

"Until such time as we announce the changes, the rotation remains as is but schools in the meantime are encouraged to find more spaces to create situations to get more learners in but still based on the existing protocols, we've not changed the protocols," Minister Motshekga said.

The department said that 80% of teachers were vaccinated and with children 12 years and older eligible, parents were encouraged to make sure their children got a jab too.

WATCH: Motshekga encourages parents to vaccinate their kids as schools reopen