SCHOOLS in coastal provinces such as KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and Western Cape are set to open on Wednesday.
This after learners in inland provinces returned to school last week on Wednesday.
The Department of Basic Education announced that this year schools will follow a staggered calendar.
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.”
On the other hand, the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) said that the 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.
With two days before schools in coastal provinces reopen, parents in Kwa-Zulu Natal are concerned about the readiness of schools as some of the schools in the province were recently damaged by the storms.
The parents say they are concerned about the number of schools that have been damaged by the storms.
The mother of a Grade 3 learner in KwaZulu-Natal, Phila Mkhize has urged the government to act with urgency in making sure that the children are back at school.
Mkhize said, “I’m very concerned about the affected schools. This may delay our children. Some of the schools affected by the storms are unusable. The government must act with urgency to make sure that our children are back at school.”
The KZN Education Department said that they have started with processes to assist the affected schools.
With all the concerns from parents, KwaZulu-Natal Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu said that the department is ready to begin the academic year.
Mshengu said on Monday some of the teachers were welcomed at schools to prepare for the return of pupils.
Mshengu said a total of 191 schools were affected by the KZN storms and they are receiving immediate attention.
“Those schools that were damaged (191) are receiving immediate attention through the deployment of mobile classrooms as the substitute to the classrooms that are damaged,” he said.
However, the minister said some schools did not open on Monday to avoid risking the lives of educators. He added that re-opening may be affected by the weather conditions.
“KZN schools are ready to welcome learners on Wednesday. All the schools welcomed the educators today. However, 39 schools under uThukela District which we instructed not to open to avoid risking the lives of educators as there was flooding today. The only thing that will stand on our way to re-open all schools is the weather conditions,” he said.
The MEC further said that the rotation system will ease the pressure, “The rotation system will ease the pressure to an extent that even schools that would not have received mobile classrooms by Wednesday will re-open.”
He emphasized that grades 12 and 11 in particular, will use the classrooms that were not damaged.
Meanwhile, Western Cape Education spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said that the department is striving, by all means, to ensure that all pupils are placed in a school for the 2022 academic year.
This is after the department struggles to place some of the pupils who are not registered for the academic year.
- * Inside Education