Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has affirmed that pupils will return to school on June 8, next Monday.
The minister also apologised to the South African public after days of confusion about the reopening of schools.
Motshekga’s department had also postponed press conferences since Friday, which were expected to outline the department’s final pronouncement on the matter of schools reopening after teacher unions and many in the public had slammed the department’s plans to forge ahead with continuing with the 2020 academic year.
Motshekga stressed that any further delay to the school year would pose a serious threat to the academic year. She also said that continued postponement of continuing with the school year would impact negatively on poor pupils, especially, as they would be expected to write the same exam with everyone else.
This means that next Monday, June 8, all Grade 7 and 12 pupils are expected back to school.
A joint survey conducted by South Africa’s teacher unions showed that no more than 55% of principals reported being ready to resume teaching and learning when schools open on Monday.
The results of the survey, which was conducted to strengthen the collaboration between the Basic Education Department and unions who share the goal of ensuring that schools are safe for teachers and learners to return, fiound that in terms of provision of face masks, all provinces scored below 25 percent except Western Cape which scored 84 percent.
The leaked survey concluded that some challenges are common across as many as six provinces, such as:
- Inadequate water for Covid-19 requirements (6 provinces)
- Water tanks that are required not yet delivered (6 provinces)
- Insufficient masks delivered (two per person) (8 provinces)