As classroom learning continues for Grades 7 and 12 with more grades expected to follow soon, many parents are still unsure of whether to send their children back to school.
The Covid-19 pandemic has not only disrupted the economy and our daily lives, it has also affected the education system and children’s right to learn.
The Department of Basic Education has gazetted its directives to help parents understand what to expect for the rest of the 2020 academic school year.
Returning to school
After a week-long school break, matrics returned to school on August 3 to revise and prepare for their final exams.
Grade 7s returned to school on August 11, with Grades R, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 10 and 11 returning on August 24. Grades 5 and 8 will return on August 31.
If a parent and guardian does not want to send their child back to school, they must make an application to the school for their child to be exempt from returning to the classroom.
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They must include the following reasons for exemption in their application: the child’s health, family anxiety related to Covid-19, concern for vulnerable members of the family, or a preference to receive independent online tuition or home schooling.
According to the department, an application for exemption from compulsory school attendance is not needed if parents or guardians decide to use online tuition provided by the school.
If parents decide to home school their children, they must ensure they comply with the regulations outlined in the South African Schools Act. To find out more, read Student360’s Home Schooling digital magazine
What if my child tests positive?
If your child tests positive for Covid-19, or has had contact with someone who has tested positive and needs to go into self-quarantine or isolation, you must inform the school immediately.
This is according to the Department of Education’s coronavirus compliance rules.
If a learner has been exposed to Covid-19 at school and tests positive, the school should inform the learner’s parents or guardians immediately.
The school should also advise that the learner see a medical practitioner and be self-isolated or quarantined at home, as gazetted by the department.