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Department of Education not ready to resume schools



Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga made a statement on the 30th of April that School Management Teams should resume schools this coming Monday, 11 May 2020.
The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) says the Department of Basic Education is not ready to resume schools.

The union says the department has not managed to fulfil the minimum requirements to implement safety measures to avoid the spread of the COVID-19.

The minister said that non-negotiables measures such as fumigation and disinfection of schools would be conducted before schools reopen.

However, SADTU General Secretary Mugwena Maluleke has informed their members not to come to work until all measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus have been put in place .

“We have observed and noticed that they are not yet ready. There is no preparation that has been put in place for the opening of schools. They have not purchased the personal protective equipment such as masks, sanitisers and all the other necessary items needed in terms of alert 4 requirements in the regulations. So they are not compelled to go to work on Monday. They should not report for duty until those things are there and there is proof that those things are there,” says Maluleke.

In a media address last week, Motshekga said that a central consideration is that the resuming of schools do not aid in the spread of the coronavirus, but also that the academic year is rescued.

She added that the suggested changes to the 2020 academic calendar are pending approval from the Cabinet.

Motshekga said, “As soon as there’s a go ahead from the Cabinet, we have to gazette the school calendar. We’re not able to open schools with a tentative school calendar. The first cohort if we manage to do all the things that we’re required to do in May – we’re suggesting that we start with the Grades 7 and Grade 12’s in June. It’s a suggestion because the NCC wants us to come back to them perhaps around the 18th to tick all the boxes.”

Motshekga has suggested a possible reopening of schools, but only for Grades 7 and 12 on 1 June.

Dep. Basic Educa
Minister Motshekga: The suggested date for the first phase of schooling is 01 June 2020. Learners in Grades 12 and 7 may start schooling on that date only if all the necessary measures are in place and approved by the command council In this video, the resuming of schools is under discussion