Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga has confirmed that learners in Grade 7 and 12 will return to school on June 1.
Her speech prompted a lot of questions from media and the general public. Here are some of the most important things spoken about which will affect parents.
A review of the entire education system:
“The virus has forced us to re-engineer the basic education system. The fundamental review of the system has become necessary if we are to minimise the impact on the sector in the long term,” said Motshekga. Whether the review will take place only in the context of Covid-19 or beyond remains to be seen.
“All food handlers will be supplied with the required personal protective equipment including gloves, aprons and cloth masks. These have already been procured by provinces as part of a basic health and hygiene package.
“The school nutrition budget will be utilised according to the revised school calendar and, where feasible, school meals will also be extended to catch-up programmes for the Grade 12s,” said Motshekga
This is important as many children receive their meal of the day at school.
School provides structure:
The department of education acknowledged that school provided structure and routine for many children across South Africa.
Parents and parents who have children will underlying conditions need to declare this to schools and each case will be evaluated and dealt with individually in order to ensure the safety of these children.
Parents can decide not to send their kids back to school:
It is important to note that parents can choose not to send their kids back to school, however, homeschooling should be taken up as an option and that should parents decide not to send their kids back to school – schools cannot guarantee their space next year. In order to repeat the grade in 2021, parents must re-apply for space at a school for that year.