South African schools – New opening date

The Government Communications and Information System (GCIS) has confirmed that Grade 7 and 12 students will not be expected to report to school on Monday – as originally planned.

Instead, it is only School Management Teams (SMTs) and staff who will be expected to report to school premises from 1 June.

“CEM (Council of Education Ministers) took informed decisions to have schools to continue to reopen on 1 June 2020, but with School Management Teams, Teachers and Non-Teaching Staff only arriving to prepare for the arrival of learners,” said the GCIS.

“The date on which Grade 7 and 12 learners have to report back to school, is 8 June 2020.”

It said this delay is due to findings presented to the CEM yesterday by three entities which showed that schools are not yet ready to reopen to students.

These reports were as follows:

  • A report from the consortium of service providers, coordinated by the National Education Collaboration Trust, on the “external evaluation and monitoring of the state of readiness”.
  • A report from Rand Water, as an “implementing agent” delivering water to 3,500 schools.
  • A technical report from the Heads of Education Departments Committee (HEDCOM).

“All three reports converged on the fact that a substantial number of schools would not be ready for the reopening tomorrow,” said the GCIS.

It added, however, that the majority of the necessary preparations and actions have been made.

“Tremendous progress had been made by most provinces, which overall reflected 80% state of readiness.”

Boarders can stay

The GCIS said it has received reports that some learners who use boarding facilities at schools have already arrived ahead of the previously proposed 1 June opening date.

It said that learners can stay, but the time must be used to prepare them for their new living and learning conditions.

“We urge the schools to continue with orientation of the learners in terms of the health and safety procedures that should be in place,” said the GCIS.

Now read: South African schools likely to stay closed – Report

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South African schools – New opening date