WATCH LIVE: Minister Angie Motshekga's update on the preparations for the re-opening of schools
LIVE BLOG: Schools to reopen from 1 June, pupils to be screened daily
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga updates the nation on the sector’s state of readiness to resume the 2020 academic calendar.
Minister Motshekga says parents who want their kids to only return next year are free to do so, but that they cannot hold back other kids from returning. "We can't close schools because there are kids who are not well..." She says the futures of other kids can't be determined based on the preferences of others.
"We understand that Early Childhood Development centres also provide the necessary caring and feeding services for children from families. Due and careful consideration will be made to ensure that we maintain the delicate balance between allowing ECDs to operate, alongside the safety and health of the children and their caregivers. We are working together with the Department of Social Development on this matter as it straddles both departments at the moment."
"In addition to these, the Basic Education Sector has psychologists and social workers who had prior training on counselling. They will be able to use their skills to support schools. We are mindful of the needs of learners with disabilities. The DBE is working with provinces to ensure that special schools are adequately provided for in all the plans we have put together."
"We are aware of the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on families and society in general. It is unprecedented and as a result an increase in social, mental, psychological and emotional difficulties amongst learners, educators and officials, is anticipated due to losses and trauma experienced through COVID-19. "
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said while she was happy with the progress made so far by provinces regarding their school reopening plans, the department still needed confirmation of deliveries of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga is expected to update the nation on Tuesday on the sector’s state of readiness to resume the 2020 academic calendar.
On Monday, Motshekga held a meeting with MECs and heads of departments to finalise plans to ensure pupils are safe when they return to the classroom, which could be as early as next month.