Hundreds of thousands of public-school pupils returned to school today

Department of Education, Angie Motshega says South Africa’s public schools are receiving hundreds of thousands of pupils back in the classrooms today, 15 February.

Motshega briefed media yesterday on the state of readiness for public schools, which officially reopened on today (Monday) following a two-week delay. Last month, the department announced a two-week delay in the school calendar following an increase of COVID-19 cases in the country.

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Teacher unions had previously raised concerns about the safety of learners and teachers, with the department assuring South Africans that measures have been put in place to address the potential spread of COVID-19 in schools.

The Minister said their Consolidated Directions, issued in terms of the Regulations, and published in terms of the Disaster Management Act of 2002, focusing on the reopening of schools and measures to address, prevent and combat the spread of COVID-19, were gazetted on 12 February 2021.

Motshekga said In the Consolidate Directions, they emphasize the critical importance of vigilance and strict adherence to the health and safety protocols, in order to save lives and that the Directions have also been distributed to schools for implementation.

She said they will continue to maintain the delicate balance between health and safety in schools on the one hand, while on the other, they will deal with the curriculum gaps, identified during the 2020 academic year. She concluded that Senior Managers in the Sector, under the leadership of the Director-General, have been working very hard to strengthen the already existing plans for 2021.

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