GAUTENG EDUCATION Department has allocated R15 000 each to 1 752 schools which have been deemed to have the capacity to undertake the cleaning themselves when the schools re-open in June.
“We are transferring R15 432 to schools for the appointment of local capacity to clean the schools. All schools will provide proof or a certificate to confirm that cleaning and disinfection was done based on a checklist, including copies of the invoices,” said the provincial MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi.
Lesufi was briefing the media about preparations for the reopening of schools in the province.
He said the province has received a donation from Bidvest to assist with the 577 schools that have been deemed not to have the capacity to undertake the cleaning themselves.
“In partnership with Bidvest, Bidvest is cleaning and disinfecting the 577 Schools and will provide sanitiser dispensers for all the 1 253 matric classrooms. This has started on the 20 May 2020,” said Lesufi.
Lesufi said teachers above the age of 55 have been asked to disclose any health issues in order for them not to pose a risk to learners when they return to school.
“We are creating a pool of new teachers, for now 50 posts have been reserved for the substitution of personnel affected by COVID-19 as well as 1047 vacant PS posts on Perusal,” he said.
He said a total of 7000 youth interns are being recruited to support COVID-19 management in schools and offices.
“To provide and assist with additional admin capacity for additional work for COVID-19 management a number of youth brigades, 4 per school,” said Lesufi.
Putting focus on the transportation for learners, Lesufi said there are currently 212 service providers operating with 2 500 commissioned.
Lesufi said the department will be increasing the number with additional 1000 buses in order for them to comply with social distancing.
“Government funded learner transport will sit at 3 500 on the road by the time pupils return to school in June’, said Lesufi.
He added that parents who opt for their children to use private transport will have the responsibility to ensure that social distancing regulations are adhered to. He says his department is still collecting data on how many private vehicles and lift clubs there are in the province that transports learners.
“The Gauteng Department of Education is responsible for transporting around 160 000 learners as part of its poverty alleviation programmes”, said Lesufi.
The department is putting measures to enforce social distancing in transit as well as compliance with good hygiene practices to contain and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus amongst learners in transit.
Lesufi said the measures include the disinfection and sanitization of buses as well as introducing the 70% occupancy rule on a single trip.
In order for schools to have control over any situation that may happen regarding the health of learners or staff, clinics will be linked to schools to be available especially in case of emergencies.
“Each schools must be linked to a professional nurse at the nearest PHC facility who should ensure that learners who require testing, management or referral receive these services”, said Lesufi.
Lesufi said the department is currently ensuring that schools with water issues, 67 at the moment, will be sorted out by the time learners return to school in June.
All schools are expected to have port of entry and exit, with the MEC saying all other gates must be closed.
“The closed entry points must contain signage indicating the entry point is closed and directions to the open entry point”, said Lesufi.
As schools reopen on 1 June 2020, there will be no visitors allowed unless they have permission from the department.