Private schools will be allowed to open on February 1. This comes after Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga stated that private schools must delay their reopening by at least two weeks from January 15 in the government gazette released on Friday, January 22.
“Independent schools must delay the date for the reopening of schools for learners to return to school for a period of two weeks from the date of the pronouncement of the minister, on January 15 2021. Independent schools may not open earlier than the two-week period as contemplated [January 15],” the gazette reads.
Public schools are allowed to open on February 15.
The gazette states the following regarding public schools:
-The principal, the school management team, including education assistants and general assistants and non-teaching staff, must return to school [on] January 25 2021;
-All educators must return to school [on] February 1 2021; and
-All learners must return to school [on] February 15 2021.
Children under six are not required to wear a mask in public.
Health professional Dr Fundile Nyati told eNCA that this is in line with the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO).
“The WHO has actually said, as much as it’s desirable that everyone should take precautions, but for children (under the age of five years old) they have come to the conclusion that looking at all the data in terms of prevalence and risk but also children under that age tend not to put the mask on correctly. They think the risk of not using the mask isn’t so much in that group.”