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More learners to return to school from next week

Last week, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) provided more clarity on the phased return to school of learners in grades other than Gr. 7 and Gr. 12.

The directions confirm Monday’s date (06/07) as the one on which the following grades will return:

  • Pre-Gr. R, Gr. R, Gr. 1, Gr. 2, Gr. 3, Gr. 6, Gr. 10 and Gr. 11;
  • schools of skill: year 2 and 3;
  • schools for learners with severe intellectual disabilities: Gr. R, Gr. 1, Gr. 2 and Gr. 3 and final year (occupational);
  • schools with learners with severe and profound intellectual disabilities: year 1 to 3; and
  • schools with autistic learners: junior group (13 years and younger) and final year (18 years and older).

An addition to the directions is the allowance for deviation from the phased approach by schools that wish to bring back other grades. A school may be permitted to deviate from the phased return of learners, provided that such school complies with the minimum health, safety and social distancing measures and requirements on Covid-19, as in the DBE Standard Operating Procedures and the DBE Guidelines and, in the case of a public school, has all the Covid-19 essentials in place.

The directions emphasise strict adherence to all health and safety requirements put in place in schools.

“It is important to ensure that even during school hours and beyond, we stick to the basic requirements of wearing the mask, sanitising, washing hands and keeping physical distance,” said Angie Motshekga, minister of Basic Education.

She urged the community to desist from visiting schools, as that increases the risk of infections.

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