Plan to open South African schools next week – All the details

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.

Original article

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.

These include:

  • 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.

Update

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.

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Plan to open South African schools next week – All the details