MEC for Education in the Western Cape Debbie Schafer says her department will start with cleaning and sanitizing all schools in the province to make sure it is safe for learners to return in June.
This follows an announcement by Basic Education Angie Motshekga last week that schools will re-open in June, starting with Grade 12 and Grade 7.
“We will be doing proper cleaning and making sure the teachers are ready for the learners come June,” said Schafer.
The plan set out by DBE is to have schools reopen in phases, with two sets of groups returning as the country finds ways to fight the COVID-19 pandemic that has hit the world.
Schools are set to reopen on 1 June 2020, and matrics and Grade 7’s will be the first group to go back followed by other grades.
Motshegka said having Grade 7s and 12s meant that the learners would have the entire school to themselves, making it easier to practice social distancing and other safety protocols.
“Several measures to ensure that the education sector do not contribute to the spread of the virus will be put in place before learners return to schools. In this regard, the department would be working with the department of health and department of transport,” said Motshekga.
The minister further announced that teachers will return to schools on May 18 2020 in order to prepare themselves for the continuation of the 2020 academic year.
“Our department is also working to identify high-risk teachers and we may need funding for additional teachers in order to manage classes and social distancing measures when more grades return”, said Schafer.
The education sector will return on May 4th in order to get the schools cleaned and ready for schooling to commence.
One of the rules that have been set out with the return of learners is that schools need to ensure that the maximum number of learners in a class is 40.
“The issue with 40 people in a class will begin when the rest of the other grades return, there are just some schools where we won’t be able to do that,” said Schafer.