South Africa: Only Grades R, 6, 11 Will Reopen On 6 July

Only Grades 6, Grade 11 and Grade R will now be returning to school on 6 July 2020, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) said on Thursday.

"The decision affects all provinces. The other grades will be phased in during July in a differentiated approach within the stipulated time frames, as per the Gazette of 29 June 2020, as published by the Minister," the Department of Basic Education (DBE) said on Thursday.

This is after it was announced last month that pre-Grade R, Grade R, Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3, Grade 6, Grade 10 and Grade 11 learners would be going to school on Monday.

Meanwhile, Grade 7 and 12 are already back at school.

According to the DBE, they made this careful consideration after Minister Angie Motshekga met with the Council of Education Ministers (CEM).

"The meeting of the Minister, Deputy Minister and all MECs of Education, accompanied by Heads of Education Departments, received and considered five reports focusing on key areas in the basic education sector in the COVID-19 environment," the DBE said.

The reports include implementation of the annual teaching plans (ATPs); registration and support to learners, whose parents elected to continue with schooling but have not registered for home education, and registration and support to learners with comorbidities.

They also discussed the turnaround time for dealing with comorbidities; examinations and assessment in a COVID-19 environment, as well as the monitoring and evaluation report conducted by the National Education Collaboration Trust-led consortium.

"We will adjust the reopening phases based on the risk-adjusted strategy, which is a considered attempt to balance our approach to schools 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 recognise that schools are based in communities and learners live in the same affected communities and therefore a careful balancing act must be maintained," said the Minister.

The Minister will host a media briefing at the weekend to spell out the revised plans on how the remaining grades will be phased out 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.

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