Covid-19: Motshekga announces June 1 return date for Grade 7 and 12

Covid-19: Motshekga announces June 1 return date for Grade 7 and 12

- South African schools will now reopen on June 1 for Grade 12 and 7 students

- Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga highlighted that this was the proposed plan

- Motshekga also stressed that this plan was highly subject to change and pending approval

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Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has answered the burning question in South Africa- When are schools reopening?

Motshekga confirmed that the tentative reopening date for Grade 12 and 7 pupils will be on June 1.

Speaking alongside Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande, Motshekga stressed the fact that this is a 'proposed dates'.

The first two grades to return, according to the minister, would 'have the whole school to themselves' and safety would be the first priority.

"[Our] first priority was ensuring that, as a sector, we contribute towards the lowering of infections. We also ensure the safety of learners and educators, but also balance that around protecting the academic year of 2020 as much as possible."

READ ALSO: Covid-19 update: Plan to reopen schools slammed as cases near 5 000

Senior officials in the education sector are set to return to work on May 4, while teachers would go back on May 18.

“We were proposing that the sector goes back on May 4, next week Monday. For us to be ready, we need to open the sector so that the first group of officials go in and prepare,” she said.

The minister was adamant that if the academic year was to be salvaged, it would be in the classroom.

The visibly stressed politician reiterated numerous times that the safety of students was the top priority.

“In the past few weeks we have experienced major problems and there has been an increasing anxiety, understandably so, because we serve more than 13-million learners. Members of the community have been worried about when learners will be allowed back — if they are even to be allowed back." reported that the department had received immense backlash over the proposed May 6 return date for the first two grades.

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