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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Department of Basic Education Warns Against The Premature Re-Opening of Schools

Nyakallo Tefu

The Department of Basic Education has warned against the premature reopening of schools.

This comes after reports emerged that certain independent and public schools were preparing to re-open much earlier and had already started to receive learners ahead of the date announced by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.

In a statement, the Department said some school teachers and principals were already reporting for duty. Parents meetings have also been held where plans were announced to have learners back this month. 

Motshekga’s spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga confirmed that the department was aware that some independent (or private) and public schools are already preparing to reopen.

“The premature reopening of schools is not permitted as the Department is still finalising COVID-19 school compliance protocols,” said Mhlanga in a statement.  

“The uniform standards will be applicable in schools as part of the measures put in place to protect learners and teachers, reduce infection and save the academic year.”

Department of Education’s Director-General Mathanzima Mweli condemned the premature re-opening of schools, saying the minister will next week return to the National Coronavirus Command Council to present an enhanced recovery plan for the basic education based on inputs and feedback received thus far.

 “I therefore urge schools to familiarize themselves with all the Regulations and Directives to ensure compliance. In the meantime, schools consult with the Department of Health and Department of Employment and Labour, in anticipation of the determination by the Minister”, said Mweli. 

“I am emphasizing that until this determination is made schools must remain closed.”

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