Covid-19: Minister Motshekga warns schools against opening early

Covid-19: Minister Motshekga warns schools against opening early

- The Department of Education has issued a warning to schools not to open prematurely

- This comes as certain schools attempted to return earlier than what the government has allowed for

- Minister Angie Motshekga has cautioned both public and private schools against ignoring the current Covid-19 regulations

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The Department of Education has called on South African schools to adhere to regulations and refrain from opening early.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the department cautioned against schools making their own decisions amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

"The Department of Basic Education has warned all schools against the premature reopening of schools. The department has become aware that some independent and public schools are already preparing to reopen much earlier and even receive learners ahead of the schedule announced by Minister Angie Motshekga."

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

The department revealed that some schools had taken it upon themselves to begin functioning far earlier than originally intended.

"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." reported that Minister Angie 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.

The proposed date for the gradual return of learners is 1 June. Motshekga urged schools to heed the call to remain closed, despite the pressure of saving what remains of the current academic year.

"I therefore urge schools to familiarise 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 anticipations of the determination by the Minister. I am emphasising that until this determination is made schools must remain closed."

The department confirmed that the minister is expected to present an enhanced recovery plan for the department to the National Coronavirus Command Council next week.

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