LIVE: Education Ministers brief SA on back-to-school plans

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Apr 30, 2020

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The Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga and Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande will outline their departments' plans for a phased approach to reopening schools. 

The announcement follows mixed reactions from the public regarding a presentation given by her department to Parliament's portfolio committee on basic education on Wednesday. 

The drafted plan had proposed for the re-opening of schools to begin next week on May 6, with the return of teachers on May 4. 

The phased drafted approach would have seen grade 12 and grade 7 learners return to school first with other grades gradually returning in the following weeks. 

The plan had also proposed that various measures such as limiting the number of children in classes, wearing of masks and social distancing be put in place to ensure the safety of children from contracting the coronavirus. 

Some have criticised this plan saying it was too early and not safe for children to return to school. There were even questions on the readiness of learners, teachers and the government to ensure that safety measures would be in place. 

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The announcement also comes a day before the county is set to enter into Level 4 of a phased end to the lockdown. 

Following an uproar from parents and the public, the department clarified that the draft plan presented to Parliament was part of consultations and that Motshekga would announce the final decisions and plan after she consults with the Cabinet on Thursday. 

"In the past month, a series of consultative sessions have taken place with various stakeholders that include teacher unions, school governing body associations, civil society, partners, and heads of provincial education departments as well MECs of education. The engagement today with the portfolio committee was the last leg in the process. A consolidated plan with the input from all parties involved will be presented to the Cabinet tomorrow morning for a final decision," the department of education said on Thursday.

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