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Western Cape Schools Are Opening On 1st June


After much confusion with mixed messages and delays the national Minister of Basic Education released a statement on Sunday night to say that schools would not be open for learners on the 1st of June. However things will be different in the Western Cape.


All schools in the country were scheduled to open for learners in Grade 12 and Grade 7 on the 1st of June. This was previously announced by the Minister of Basic Education and the confirmed with the release of a Government Gazette which formalises the rules.

The provincial departments of education had only a few week to ensure that all schools in the country had the correct safety equipment, sanitisers, masks and other equipment they would need to ensure that their schools were safe for learners and teachers.

By the weekend preceeding the opening things were not looking good with teachers' unions calling on the government to delay the opening of schools as there were still too many schools who were not yet prepared to open safely for grade 12s and grade 7s.

There was a national meeting on Saturday with all the provincial minister of education and the national Minister. There was no official press release after the event but the Sunday Times was confident enough of their sources to run a lead story that schools would not reopen for learners on the 1st. Then a public announcement from the Minister was scheduled to take place at 6pm fueling the speculation.

At schools that have been able to prepare sufficiently for the reopening it is believed that the majority of learners do want to return. This is particularly the case with the matrics who have been looking forward to their final year of school for many years and never expected to see this much disruption, both to their studies ahead of finals and to the social element of their final year at school.

As the clock clicked closer to 6pm first we heard that the press conference by the Minister would not be happening as she was still in negotiations.  It was rescheduled to tomorrow morning at 11am.  Learners were confused as to how the press conference that was supposed to tell them whether they should be at school at 8am was going to be held at 11am!

Then the message came from the Department of Education that schools would not be reopening for learners tomorrow, the 1st June and that the date was pushed back one week to the 8th of June. The press release referred to 'all learners' but we assume they are still talking about grades 7 and 12.

To add to the confusion the Western Cape Education Department HOD, Brian Schreuder released a statement to say that schools in the province were reader and therefore would open on the 1st June.



Because of the late notice on the Sunday evening some schools in the Western Cape had already told their pupils not to attend. Confusion reigns in schools across the country.




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