Schools could open by June 1 – education minister Angie Motshekga

Basic education minister Angie Motshekga.
Matric marks Basic education minister Angie Motshekga. Image: Thapelo Morebudi/The Sunday Times

Schools will reopen on June 1 for grade 12 and grade 7 pupils.

This is according to basic education minister Angie Motshekga on Thursday. She was speaking at a press briefing alongside higher education minister Blade Nzimande.

She stressed that these were “proposed dates”.

Matrics and grade 7 would be first, she said, and that these grades would “have the whole school to themselves”.

Basic education minister Angie Motshekga said that it was proposed that the education sector begins to get back to work on May 4. This was, however, she stressed for senior officials, and that teachers go back on May 18.

“We were proposing that the sector goes back on May 4, next week Monday. For us to be ready, we need to open the sector so that the first group of officials go in and prepare,” she said.

She stressed this was a “proposed calendar that we are consulting around”.

“If we are to save the year, the success will be in the classroom,” she said earlier.

She said that the safety of teachers and pupils was the top priority.

“[Our] first priority was ensuring that, as a sector, we contribute towards the lowering of infections. We also ensure the safety of learners and educators, but also balance that around protecting the academic year of 2020 as much as possible.

“In the past few weeks we have experienced major problems and there has been an increasing anxiety, understandably so, because we serve more than 13-million learners. Members of the community have been worried about when learners will be allowed back — if they are even to be allowed back,” she said.

By Matthew Savides 

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