On April 29, the Department of Basic Education updated the public and Parliament on the status of schooling in South Africa, as well as the plan for the way forward.
During the briefing it was revealed that schools will begin to return to full operation in phases until they are back at full capacity.
On May 4, teachers will be allowed to return to schools to prepare for students and new measures that need to be put in place ahead of classes resuming.
As of May 6, students will slowly begin returning to schools, starting with grades 12 and seven. On May 20, grades 11 and six will return, followed by grades 10 and five on June 3. As of June 17, grades nine and four will return, followed by grades eight and three on July 1 and lastly grades two and one on July 8, and grade R on July 15.
These dates were presented in line with the COVID-19 basic education plan which aims to return learners to school safely while adhering to lockdown regulations and saving lives. Government transport will also be provided for learners and teachers in need.
Parents are being asked to adhere to the plan and to remain calm during the phases that will come in the next few months.
“The contribution that schooling makes to the spread of the virus is very small,” said Mr HM Mweli Director-General of the Department of Education while delivering the COVID-19 basic education plan.
Children with underlying condition as well as elderly teachers will be asked to stay home for their own safety.
“Children with pre-existing medical condition will be advised to learn from home. Teachers who are 60 years old and above will be advised to work from home,”adds Mweli.
The education plan has been carefully thought out taking into account international experiences and the safety of teachers, learners and parents. Grade 12 learners will be expected to write full examination while other grades will be given a reworked curriculum and assessed on 80%.
Term two will end on July 26, term three will start on August 3 and end on September 23. The last term of the years will run from September 28 through to December 9 for learners and December 11 for teachers.
The implications of the schooling year adjustments mean that learners have lost a total of 25 days.