Covid-19: Government prepares for reopening of school on June 1

Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga tonight confirmed that learners in Grade 7 and 12 will return to school on June 1.

“We will look at small schools and special schools differently,” she said when she addressed the media.

The minister said the department received representation from parents and organisations.

“We appreciate the support and guidance received from the public,” she said.

Motshekga acknowledged that a number of questions were raised about the future of the academic year.

“There was always a certainty that schools will have to reopen,” she said.

The minister added that a number of key principles will guide the reopening of schools, including the safety of learners, teachers and staff.

The reopening of schools should also not contribute in any way to the spread of the virus.

“The forced closure of schools to slow the spread of coronavirus was a necessary step,” she said.

“Preparations have been taking place and good progress has been made. All indications are that the pre-conditions for the reopening of schools are going to be met.”

Basic Education Review

“The virus has forced us to re-engineer the basic education system. The fundamental review of the system has become necessary if we are to minimise the impact on the sector in the long term,” Motshekga said.

She said that teachers in all provinces will return to work on May 25, while learners in Grades 7 and 12 will return to school on June 1.

“This included independent and public schools, even in metropolitan areas,” she said.

The minister added that the National Coronavirus Command Council, as well as cabinet, approved the decision to reopen schools on June 1.