By: Precious M. Lesupi
Minister Angie Motshekga of the Department of Basic Education held a briefing last night on the readiness of the department regarding the reopening of schools.
Minister Motshekga mentioned that 95% of schools have been provided with the COVID-19 related imperatives. “We will strive to deal with the remaining 5% to ensure that the unfettered rights to health, safety and basic education for all South African children are protected,” she remarked. For the remaining 5%, alternative measures have been developed for learners to temporarily use neighbouring schools and underutilized spaces in boarding schools.
The amended directions published by the department now cater for instances where parents may choose to keep their children at home or schools not being ready to resume with lessons. Motshekga said that they were working with the department of transport to ensure that learner transport is provided and meets the health, safety and social distances measures and requirement pertaining to the national health regulations. This will include scholar transport for learners with special education needs.
The minister further urged parents of learners with pre-existing illnesses to work closely with schools to ensure that their children are also assisted. “Schools will work with parents to obtain the information which once again needs to be treated with utmost care,” she said.
The teaching and learning programmes provided online will continue, and parents who are uneasy about their children going back to school must follow the law to ensure that their children’s basic education right is unhindered.