Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande unpacked reopening of educational institutions. Minister Motshekga announced the revised 2020 school calendar.
According to Motshekga the final call regarding the reopening of schools would be made in conjunction with National Command Council (NCC). She said that the sector would open on 4 May to prepare for the eventual return of pupils. It’s also been proposed that teachers will return to work on 18 May to prepare for the remaining curriculum.
She revealed the finalised school programme which differed from the initial plans which was issued by the Portfolio Committee. She confirmed that schools will reopen for Grade 7 and 12 pupils on 1 June.
She added that the education sector would reopens on 4 May, school management returns on 11 May, Teachers return on 18 May. Meanwhile Grade 12 and 7 pupils to return on 1 June. She also said that due to the disruptive of lockdown June exams had been postponed until November 2020.
“Due to the lockdown, we have not been able to complete our preparations, which include the printing and distribution of questions papers, the appointment of invigilators, markers, and the general readiness in marking centres,” said Motshekga
“The examinations will therefore, be merged with the November examinations. A new time-table for the merged examinations will be communicated urgently, as part of preparing the system for the biggest matric examination ever seen in the country,”Said Motshekga.
Minister Blade Nzimande announced that most physical campuses would remain closed until the risk level was lowered to an appropriate level. He said the risks of returning to normal campus are simply too great and cannot function successfully due to Covid-19.
“Our responsibility is to lower the infection that is our overriding concern. We have decided not to resume with campus-based academic activity throughout the sector, including all universities and TVET colleges, both public and private, during the Level 4 lockdown period,” said Nzimande.
According to Nzimande the only exception will be the phased return of final year medical students.
“The only exception will be the controlled return of final year clinical training (medical) students, under strict conditions, to also directly assist with the health management campaign of the Department of Health,” said Nzimande.