The Western Cape Education Department indicated that it is pleased with the decision made by the National Cabinet that all schools should return full time.
The decision comes after Cabinet approved a number of adjustments to the country’s Alert Level 1 COVID-19 regulations in a special meeting on Monday, 31 January.
According to the Western Cape’s Education MEC Debbie Schäfer, the time lost in school has had an impact not only on the academic progress but also aggravates societal issues such as learner pregnancies and the risk of dropping out of school.
Schäfer said in a statement that parents have had to make alternative arrangements whilst trying to work, as some children were left unattended, adding to safety risks.
“We met with Minister Motshekga, and the plan is that schools should be ready to receive all learners from Monday next week. This will give them time to make all the necessary arrangements,” Schäfer said.
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The Minister further mentioned that the issue of mask-wearing for children will be reconsidered after she received a number of requests from parents regarding this.
“There is conflicting evidence on this issue, and it was agreed that the matter will be processed through the Council of Education Ministers for recommendations and consideration. As always, we will rely on expert evidence when making decisions in this regard,” Schäfer added.
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