MEC(Education) Statement on COVID-19
SCHOOLS URGED TO ADHERE TO REGULATIONS AND REFRAIN FROM OPENING PREMATURELY
The Department of Basic Education has warned all schools against the premature reopening of schools.
The Department has become aware that some independent (or private) and public schools are already preparing to reopen much earlier and even receive learners ahead of the schedule announced by Minister Angie Motshekga.
In some schools teachers have already been reporting for duty and parents meetings have been held where plans were announced to have learners back in school in May.
The premature reopening of schools is not permitted as the Department is still finalising COVID-19 school compliance protocols.
The uniform standards will be applicable in schools as part of the measures put in place to protect learners and teachers, reduce infection and save the academic year.
Regulations were published on 29 April 2020 in terms of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act No. 57 of 2002) which listed education services under Alert Level 4 Table 1. Q. as permitted on a date and schedule yet to be announced to direct when schools may reopen during Alert Level 4. Until such date and schedule are determined, all schools, including independent schools, must remain closed.
The Minister has already indicated how she intends to have schools reopening and until a final decision is made no school may proceed to open and receive learners.
On 29 April 2020, the Minister of Employment and Labour also issued the Directive in terms of Regulation 10 (8) of the Regulations in terms of Section 27 (2) of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act No. 57 Of 2002).
Minister Motshekga announced that office based workers would gradually return to work from 4 May, School Management Teams to go back on 11 May and teachers on 18 May 2020.
The proposed date for the gradual return of learners is 1 June 2020.
“I therefore urge schools to familiarize themselves with all the Regulations and Directives to ensure compliance.
In the meantime schools consult with the Department of Health and Department of Employment and Labour, in anticipation of the determination by the Minister. I am emphasizing that until this determination is made schools must remain closed,” Mr Mweli said.
The Minister will next week return to the National Coronavirus Command Council to present an enhanced recovery plan for the basic education based on inputs and feedback received thus far.
ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF BASIC EDUCATION