South Africa: Schools Will Reopen On 27 January, As Planned, Says Department of Basic Education

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The Department of Basic Education has made assurances that plans are on track for the reopening of schools when the academic year commences on 27 January.

The Department of Basic Education has said it did not receive any requests to delay the reopening of schools, scheduled for the end of January. This follows concerns by parent groups over the high rates of Covid-19 infections in South Africa.

Schools are due to open for the new academic year on Monday, 25 January, for teachers, while learners will return on Wednesday, 27 January.

On Sunday, City Press reported that parents had raised concerns over the reopening, while the Sunday Times reported that some private schools could delay their reopening, depending on what President Cyril Ramaphosa announces.

'The department has not received a single request to delay the reopening of schools. I am not aware of such a call," said Department of Basic Education spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga.

He confirmed to Daily Maverick that the department had made a presentation to the National Coronavirus Command Council on schools' state of readiness for the reopening.

"Delaying [the reopening of] schools is not a solution," said Mhlanga - instead, what was required was a strict adherence...

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