Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. Screengrab: YouTube
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. Screengrab: YouTube

Angie Motshekga blames uneven state of readiness for further delays in reopening schools

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Jun 1, 2020

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Johannesburg - Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has blamed uneven readiness across the country's provinces for a further delay in reopening schools. 

Motshekga's much-awaited address was held on Monday where she pointed to last-minute discussions with various stakeholders for the delay in reopening schools.

Schools were initially scheduled to resume on Monday for Grades 7 and 12s, but on Sunday night the department of education said this was being moved to June 8. 

Motshekga explained the further delay was compounded by meetings she had on Saturday and Sunday. She met with provincial MECs of education who gave varying degrees of readiness.

Some provinces had been 70% or 80% ready whether it was for the delivery of personal protective equipment (PPE) or the supply of water tanks to schools in need. Motshekga said she had also visited various schools last week and witnessed that some were not ready to open. 

"I really want to apologise wholeheartedly for the inconvenience caused yesterday (on Sunday). It was out of my control as I had to ensure that all key stakeholders were informed," she said. 

She said after these deliberations it was decided this week should be used to "mop up" and ensure the delivery of PPE and water to schools in need. She said teachers and management were expected back at work especially in areas where they had supplies of PPE. 

She said those schools that were ready to receive learners could use this week as induction for the learners and teachers. 

  • "I can confirm that by the time I went to certain schools, they were not ready. We took the decision that let us use this week to mop up. The decision was that there are other key factors around safety and coronavirus which have made it unsafe to reopen schools," she said. 

Motshekga said she met with unions, principal stakeholders and schools governing bodies. She is expected to hold a meeting on Thursday to further assess the readiness of provinces.

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