Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has welcomes closure of public schools as per Cabinet’s decision, as COVID-19 infections rise.
Following Cabinet’s decision, schools will close on Monday, 27 July and reopen on 24 August 2020. However, Grade 12 learners and educators will only take a one-week break and reopen on 3 August, while Grade 7s will return to class on 10 August.
The decision to close schools comes as South Africa recorded 408 052 confirmed COVID-19 cases, placing the country among the top five worst-affected nations in the world.
Motshekga says the break will allow schools to prepare for the return of more grades to school later in August. The Minister has urged school communities to continue with their work during the break.
“Parents, teachers and learners alike are urged to continue with school work.
“Schools must make arrangements with parents for learners to get work or materials for them to remain fully engaged during the break,” said the Minister.
During the break, teachers and non-teaching staff remain on duty at home and will remain at home, but should avail themselves when necessary.
Schools to offer meals during break
With the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) set to continue offering meals to learners during the break, the Minister urged that learners should also be given work as they collect food or when they leave on 24 July 2020.
Vandalism at schools
“Once again, we appeal to members of the public to protect schools during the break to prevent the theft and damage that was caused when schools were initially closed due to COVID-19.
“It remains one of our biggest concerns when schools are targeted. The burglaries and theft of food supplies and other expensive items defeats our efforts to provide mainly for the poor and vulnerable learners, who are always the hardest hit,” the Minister said.
She reminded parents, learners, teachers, non-teaching staff and everybody else to continue to implement the health and safety measures, which include washing of hands, sanitising, social distancing and the wearing of masks at all times.