The Department of Basic Education has published the updated return dates and plans for schools in South Africa.
In the gazette published on Thursday (15 July), basic education minister Angie Motchekga said schools will reopen on 26 July 2021 for all learners (Grades R – 12) to return to school on the daily or weekly rotational timetable model.
The gazette also states that the principal, school management team, and non-teaching staff will return to school on 22 July 2021, to prepare for the return of learners to school on 26 July.
While there aren’t any specific prescribed opening dates for private/independent schools, the gazette clearly states that these schools must remain closed for contact classes until 26 July.
BusinessTech reports that Motshekga had originally planned for the full return of students to daily attendance schedules, as opposed to the current daily or weekly rotational timetable model.
For much of the last year, students were expected to do a large amount of their learning and coursework at home in an effort to increase social distancing. This had a notable impact on teaching and learning time.
In the gazette, Motchekga said that primary schools (learners in Grades R-7) must return to the traditional and daily attendance timetabling model from 2 August 2021. This also applies to schools for learners with special education needs (Grades R -12).
Mothsekga also said that principals, school management teams, and non-teaching staff in primary schools are expected to utilize the week commencing on 26 July 2021 to finalise the preparations for the return to the traditional and daily attendance timetabling model on 2 August 2021.
It was also stated in the gazette that the usual winter vacation learner support or catch-up programs for Grades 11 and 12, as organised and implemented by the Provincial Departments of Education, districts and schools, will continue under strict compliance with the minimum health, safety and social distancing measures on COVID-19, and are extended by a week until 23 July 2021.
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