Motshekga's directives show all pupils will be back at school by August, most by July
Johannesburg - On July 6, Grades R, 1, 2, 3, 6, 10, 11 and some pupils with special educational needs, will return to school.
This was confirmed in the Basic Education’s directives which were published by Minister Angie Motshekga on Wednesday.
The group of pupils returning to school in July will also include pupils with severe intellectual disabilities (occupational), those with severe and profound intellectual disabilities and autistic children who are below the age of 13 and those in there final year, who are above 18.
On August 3, Grades 4, 5, 8 and 9 will be the last group to return to school. This group will include autistic children who are 13 and older, as well as all other pupils with severe intellectual disabilities.
Motshekga also outlines in her directives that aftercare facilities that are managed or operated by the school were allowed to re-open, but they had to comply with the minimum health, safety and social distancing measures and requirements on Covid-19.
But events such as sports and extracurricular activities would remain suspended until Motshekga announces a date for their resumption.
The minister said parents who did not send their children back to school after the phased return of schools had to apply with the provincial head of department to exempt the pupil from compulsory attendance.
“Provided that the parent makes reasonable efforts to ensure that the learner continues learning from home in line with the learning materials provided by the school. Should a parent wish to apply for a learner to receive education at the learner’s home (home education), he or she must comply with the legal requirements for the provision of home education, as contemplated in section 51 of the South African Schools Act,” she said in her directives.
Motshekga also said schools could deviate from the guidelines, but had to submit an application to the HOD which included their plans, a timetable and a signed declaration by the principal or school governing body chairperson.
The schools also had to adhere to the Covid-19 guidelines.
The directives said the provincial departments reserved the right to conduct a site inspection to ensure the school was in compliance with the requirements.
“If a school is found not to have complied with the measures and requirements... the deviation from the phased return to school may be revoked and the school may be closed… until such time as the school complies with such measures and requirements.”
Schools could appeal such a decision to the provincial MEC within seven days.IOL
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