The Council of Education Ministers (CEM) has taken a decision to only allow grades 6 and 11 to return to school on Monday, and not Grade R.
This comes after a four-hour long meeting on Friday to consider five different reports, the education department announced.
“These reports provided a broad review of all the developments relating to the phased approach to the return of learners to school.
“CEM received reports since the first reopening phase and assessed the level or readiness of each Provincial Education Department to receive more learners as envisaged from the 6 July 2020,” the council said in a statement.
The decision was made to help the sector try manage the numbers expected to return to school, but also considering the infection rates that are currently climbing.
The decision affects all provinces.
The other grades will be phased in during the month of July in a differentiated approach within the stipulated time frames as per the gazette of 29 June 2020 as published by Education Minister Angie Motshekga.
“We will adjust the reopening phases based on the risk-adjusted strategy which is a considered attempt to balance our approach to School Reopening taking into account all factors that affect the work we do.
“We are guided in this by an observation of the rising numbers of community transmissions throughout the country.
“We recognize that schools are based in communities and learners live in the same affected communities and therefore a careful balancing act must be maintained,” Motshekga said.
Motshekga will host a media briefing at the weekend to elaborate on the revised plans with the goal of phasing in the remaining grades to allow schools to reach normality by August 2020.
The details of the media briefing will be announced in due course where all other matters will be addressed.
(Compiled by Carina Koen)