DBE prepares for the return of more grades

more grades go back to school

Teachers' unions wants schools immediately closed. Picture Courtney Africa/African News Agency(ANA)

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) prepares to welcome back more grades to school as they save what’s left of the 2020 academic year.

The department’s spokesperson, Elijah Mhlanga says the department is currently preparing for the return of other grades to school. 

“The two weeks of learning and teaching has been valuable in giving us some important lessons on key areas we need to pay attention to, as we continue to implement the phased approach to the reopening of schools in the Covid-19 environment. 

“It is inconceivable that some organisations are still opposed to the reopening of schools even after the president announced that many other sectors are going to reopen. 

“In essence, these organisations are suggesting that parents should go to work but leave their children behind,” he says.

While the department has come under fire for its decision to reopen schools amid the pandemic, it maintained that health and safety measures put in place are working.

“The Department is pleased that the implementation of the health and safety protocols in schools are working. 

“The infections can be prevented if everyone wears their mask, keeps physical distancing, wash hands, sanitise and stay safe,” adds Mhlanga.

According to reports, Western Cape reported 55 new infections and 30 in Gauteng as of Friday.

A Durban mother whose son is in grade 6 told Student360 that this makes her feel uneasy.

“My hubby and I have comorbidities and our greatest fear is sending our child back knowing there is a possibility that he can carry the virus home should there be any infections at school.

“I am grateful for the option from my son’s school for children to continue with online lessons even after the return date which for him is July 6”.

The Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshega had gazetted regulations for the reopening of schools and early childhood development.

Grades 7 and 12 returned to school on June 1. Early childhood development centres, and grades R, 3, 6, 10, and 11 will return on July 6.

On August 3, grades 4, 5, 8 and 9 pupils will return to school.