Update: Basic Education Deputy Minister Makgabo Reginah Mhaule said the 6 May return date for Grade 7 and matric students will be changed to 18 May.
The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has announced that it plans for schools to reopen on 4 May.
Teachers are set to arrive on 4 May, while Grade 12 and Grade 7 learners will arrive back at school on 6 May.
DBE Director-General Hubert Mathanzima Mweli said the department’s plans, which it outlined in a video call, will be presented to parliament today for approval.
Other learners are proposed to be phased in as follows:
- Grade 6 and Grade 11 – 20 May
- Grade 5 and Grade 10 – 3 June
- Grade 4 and Grade 9 – 17 June
- Grade 3 and Grade 8 – 1 July
- Grade 1 and Grade 2 – 8 July
- Grade R – 15 July
The exam schedule is proposed to be amended as follows:
- The May/June Exams for the National Senior Certificate (Grade 12) will be combined with the October/November Exams and rescheduled for November/December.
- Marking of examination scripts will run up to the end of December 2020.
- Moderation, standardisation, and release of the results will be moved to mid/end of January 2021.
- School Based Assessment will have to be calculated without the May/June exams.
- Grade 12s will still write preparatory examinations in September.
- The November/December examination time table will have to be amended accordingly.
School calendar and rules
The new school calendar for learners is proposed to be as follows:
- Term 2 – 6 May to 26 July
- Term 3 – 3 August to 23 September
- Term 4 – 28 September to 9 December
The Department of Education has also outlined a variety of rules and guidelines that it plans on implementing at schools to curb the spread of COVID-19.
- Physical distances in classrooms of not more than two learners sharing desks.
- No hugging, handshaking, and direct contact.
- Cloth masks to be worn by learners and teachers at all times.
- No mass public events – including sports matches, choral practices, and festivals.
- Extra classes should be arranged in small groups that maintain social distancing.
- Classrooms to be sanitised before each school day.
- Hands to be sanitised upon entering of the classroom.
- Limiting of movement of learners between classes.
- No clustering of desks in classrooms.
- Transport will be sanitised before each trip, while the hands of learners will also be sanitised before entry.
- Distance management must take place between learners in buses.
Following the presentation and questions from MPs in attendance, Basic Education Deputy Minister Makgabo Reginah Mhaule said the 6 May return date for Grade 7 and matric students will be changed to 18 May.
“Yesterday, after presenting to the social cluster, they indicated that the date of May 6 is not realistic and we need to change it,” said Mhaule.
“In the presentation that I have now, that date is changed.”
“When this plan is approved, then we are going to school – on the 18th our children are going to school,” said Mhaule.