Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi came out to assure parents that their children won’t be deregistered if they don’t return to school after Grade 6s and 11s returned to their classes on Monday morning.
This follows reports that some across the country were reportedly turning learners away ahead of the return. Parents went on Twitter to complain over their children being told to go home due to the schools lacking personal protective equipment (PPE).
Speaking on 702, Lesufi said those learners who wouldn’t return to class should continue and study at home.
“Gauteng has taken a different approach, if families feel that their children can’t go back to school, we have given them the opportunity for home education.
“Those that want their children to come back, we have strengthened the strict protocols within our schools. We have given support to every family to choose the best outcome that will suit their children.”
The MEC further said that the law, which compelled schools to deregister pupils who did not come to school for 10 consecutive days without an explanation, had been amended.
“If we can’t get the teaching staff in order, some of the services that we are offering can’t be rendered. The law has been amended. If your child is not back at school, they will not be deregistered, they will have space next year. But we encourage parents to choose other options that ensures that their children continue learning.”
Since the return of pupils in Grades 7 and 12 on 8 June, 2,740 out of 440,000 teachers were infected. While 968 of the country’s 26,000 schools across the country were forced to close and re-open because of Covid-19.
Meanwhile, Gauteng health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku said the province was still deliberating on applying stricter lockdown regulations.
During a media briefing on Friday, 3 July 2020, the provincial government said it would approach the national coronavirus command council (NCCC) to reinstate some of the previous lockdown restrictions to assist in fighting the spread of Covid-19.
Intermittent lockdowns will see the province opening up and then closing the economy for a particular period of time.
The surge of human movement in the province has brought a high rate on infections and as a result, screening would remain a major priority while hospital beds would be increased to accommodate the expected demand.
“We wouldn’t want to return to hard lockdown because of the implications it has for the economy. What we are putting across is that we also have to get into it with proper insight because we’ve got experience with the previous lockdown.”
Masuku said that most of the cases being recorded currently did not require hospitalisation while he also confirmed that 700 beds were prepared for Covid-19 patients in the process.
Gauteng currently has a total number of 63,404 Covid-19 cases, as of 5 July 2020, with 16,887 recoveries in the process, while, the Covid-19 related deaths stands at 353.
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