Basic education minister Angie Motshekga told parliament that she was still consulting teachers, governing bodies and students about plans to reopen schools, on Tuesday morning, this just hours before she was due to brief the media on government’s final decision on the re-opening of the education sector.
Teachers and families will be keenly watching to see which schools will be permitted to open, and which grades will go back first. A plan discussed with interest groups last week has proposed schools in areas with high Covid-19 transmission should remain shut, and face-to-face teaching resume for only Grade 12 learners.
Her original proposal, announced in April, was that learners would return in a phased manner, starting with grades 12 and 7. Office workers were to resume duties on May 4, school management teams on May 11, and teachers were expected to return to schools on May 18.
The minister still faces a stiff opposition from unions to the opening of schools on June 1, because many provinces have yet to convince teachers that they are going to return to a safe working environment, and has repeatedly delayed scheduled briefings.
Motshekga is expected to brief the media on the plans for reopening schools at 18:00 this evening.
As of Monday evening, SA has recorded 16,433 cases of Covid-19 and 286 deaths. Close to 10,000 of the cases being in the Western Cape.