The national basic education department said that only grades 6, grade 11 and grade R would be allowed to return as planned on Monday.

The department on June 29 gazetted regulations that would allow the following grades to return on July 6:

grade R;
grade 1;
grade 2;
grade 3;
grade 6;
grade 10;
grade 11;
schools of skill: years 2 and 3, schools for learners with severe intellectual disabilities (SID): grades R, 1, 2, 3 and final year (occupational); and
schools with learners with severe and profound intellectual disabilities (LSPID): years 1 -3; and
schools with autistic learners: junior group (below 13 years) and final year (18 years and above).

However, this will no longer be the case.

The Minister of the Department of Basic Education; Mrs Angie Motshekga hosted the Council of Education Ministers (CEM) Thursday afternoon . The meeting of the Minister, Deputy Minister and all MECs of Education accompanied by Heads of Education Departments, received and considered five reports focusing on key areas in the basic education sector in COVID-19 environment.

The reports presented were; Implementation of the Annual Teaching Plans (ATPs) in the context of the proposed timetabling models and curriculum fundamentals to focus on per grade for the available time in the academic year, Registration and Support to Learners whose Parents Elected to Keep at home and continue with schooling but not registered for Home Education, Registration and Support to Learners with Comorbidities, Turnaround Time for Dealing with Comorbidities, Examinations and Assessment in a COVID-19 Environment as well as the Monitoring and Evaluation Report conducted by the NECT-led consortium.

These reports provided a broad review of all the developments relating to the phased approach to the return of learners to school. CEM received reports since the first reopening phase and assessed the level or readiness of each Provincial Education Department to receive more learners as envisaged from the 06th July 2020.

After careful consideration of all the reports CEM took a decision that only Grade 6, Grade 11 and Grade R will return to school on Monday, 06th July 2020. The decision affects all provinces. The other grades will be phased during the month of July in a differentiated approach within the stipulated time frames as per the gazette of 29 June 2020 as published by the Minister.
“We will adjust the reopening phases based on the risk-adjusted strategy which is a considered attempt to balance our approach to School Reopening taking into account all factors that affect the work we do. We are guided in this by an observation of the rising numbers of community transmissions throughout the country. We recognize that schools are based in communities and learners live in the same affected communities and therefore a careful balancing act must be maintained,” said Minister Motshekga.

The Minister will host a media briefing at the weekend to elaborate on the revised plans with the goal of phasing in the remaining Grades to allow our Schools to reach normality by August 2020. The details of the media briefing will be announced in due course where all other matters will be addressed.
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Main picture screen shot /Instagram /mbulelodwane.