THE Department of Basic Education said on Monday that they are ready to receive over 12 million learners for the 2022 academic year, as learners across the country report for the start of the new school year between 12 and 17 January.
Pupils in inland provinces are expected to return to school on Wednesday while schools in coastal areas will only resume a week later.
The Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) said on Monday that government is committed to every learner receiving the best possible education.
“We call on families to assist learners by providing support systems. It is essential that we encourage learners and instil in them the importance of education,” GCIS said in a statement.
Last week, the Department of Basic Education announced that this year, schools will follow a staggered calendar.
Learners in the inland provinces of Gauteng, the Free State, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and North West will be the first to return back to school this Wednesday.
On the other hand, learners in the coastal provinces of KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape will only go back to school a week later, on the 19th of January.
Basic Education Spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said: “This time we believe that we’ll be able to start in time and be able to cover the entire work that’s in the curriculum schedule for this year.”
In an interview with Radio 702, Mhlanga urged parents to work together and prepare children for the third year of COVID-19.
“We need to work together. We need our parents to prepare their children for the third year of COVID-19 protocol implementation in schools,” he said.
He further challenged people to vaccinate so that once teaching and learning start it is not interrupted by COVID-19 issues.
“In 2022 we want more people to be vaccinated so that we can create stability in the sector. It’s not just about opening schools, but it’s also about once we start, teaching and learning must continue uninterrupted.”
Government has also called on everyone to play their part to ensure the safety of learners and educators in schools.
“COVID-19 is still with us. Vaccination remains our best defence and we urge all learners aged 12 and older to vaccinate as soon as possible. Wearing of masks remains mandatory and all learners, teachers and other school staff must continue to do so. Together, we can make our schools safer for all,” the GCIS said on Monday.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga is expected to hold a media briefing on the opening of schools for the 2022 academic year and give an update about government’s vaccination drive among learners.
Schools are set to reopen from Wednesday, 12 January.
The briefing is scheduled to take place from 10:00 at the Ronnie Mamoepa Press Room, Tshedimosetso House, in Pretoria.
Members of the media may view the briefing via live stream on the South African Government and Department of Basic Education social media channels.
Meanwhile, the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) said it’s ready to start teaching and learning from the first day of reopening.
MEC for Finance and e-Government, Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko will also be embarking on schools’ visits in KwaThema to inspect schools’ readiness and offer support to pupils before the academic calendar commences on Wednesday.
Motshekga will also embark on a roadshow to engage Delmas communities on the Second Chance Matric Support Programme and the migration of the Early Childhood Development function to the DBE.
The Department of Basic Education said Second Chance Matric Support Program provides support to learners who could not meet the pass requirements of the National senior certificate examinations.
“It affords young South Africans a second chance of acquiring a National Senior Certificate (NSC), which will be much needed for participating in the mainstream economy or furthering their studies in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).”
- Inside Education