- Angie Motshekga has apologised for cancelling the return to school at the last minute
- Speaking during a media briefing on the situation, the Basic Education Minister explained her motives
- With Covid-19 affecting the schooling system, the minister opted to err on the side of caution
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has addressed SA on Monday morning to clarify the confusion over the decision to cancel the reopening of schools.
Speaking during a media briefing, Motshekga apologised for the late decision just hours before students were scheduled to return to class.
The minister explained that the reopening was called off due to a lack of Personal Protective Equipment and a lack of training for teachers and staff members.
Motshekga emphasised that health guidelines needed to be strictly followed to avoid schools becoming a hotspot for Covid-19.
The minister warned that an entire term has been lost due to the pandemic, with more time expected to be lost as the fight against the virus continues.
Motshekga explained that, in order to recover the time lost, the school system needs to be 're-engineered' and timetables and the curriculum must be adjusted accordingly.
The minister confirmed that the department is hard at work with education experts to determine what the school curriculum should be in light of the teaching time that has been lost.
Briefly.co.za reported that the new return date for schools to welcome back Grade 7 and 12 students is now set to 8 June.
Delaying the reopening of schools any longer than this, according to Motshekga, poses a threat to the education system and the very futures of learners.
Schools were urged to take the week-long delay provided by this postponement to 'mop up' and prepare, with schools which are ready urged to use the week for induction.
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