Millions of parents have been waiting for this day, and it finally came. Last night, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that schools will close from 27 July.
According to Ramaphosa “taking into account the views of the various stakeholders and expert bodies, Cabinet has decided that all public schools should take a break for the next four weeks”.
This means that schools will only reopen on 24 August, except Grades 12 and 7. Grade 12s will only have a one week break, and Grade 7s will have to be on break for two weeks.
This announcement was only made for parents with children in public schools.
So what does this mean for parents and children?
This disruption to the 2020 academic year will run into the following year.
The biggest option on the table for parents continues to be homeschooling. This would mean that parents would remove their children from the traditional schooling system and teach them from home.
This has its pros and cons, but would provide stability for children to avoid reopening and closing and reopening again. A lot of parents have reported seeing their children experience anxiety when they go to school, and when letters are issued reporting on Covid-19 cases in the schools.
Continue the curriculum from home
According to Angie Motshekga “parents, teachers and learners alike are urged to continue with school work”. Parents should collect study material from schools when they collect food parcels.
The department of education collaborated with the SABC since schools closed in March to broadcast curriculum content for different grades on radio and television. Kids with no access to the internet can access lessons here.
Read to Lead
To improve reading abilities in young children, the department of education launched the Read to Lead campaign in 2015, which is still currently running. Motshekga is urging parents to access this portal to encourage their children to continue reading during this time.