Department Delays School Reopening Dates

On Friday morning, Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Reginah Mhaule, addressed whether schools will be reopening as scheduled or later which could also then affect the 2021 school calendar. This announcement follows meetings with the National Coronavirus Command Council.

On Friday morning, Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Reginah Mhaule, addressed whether schools will be reopening as scheduled or later which could also then affect the 2021 school calendar. This announcement follows meetings with the National Coronavirus Command Council.

Schools were originally set to open on 13 January but due to the pandemic, the 2020 school calendar had to be revised which had a knock-on effect on the 2021 school calendar. DBE then laid out that schools will be reopening for learners on 27 January instead. 

Now, Mhaule announced:

All stakeholders were united in supporting a delay of opening schools. Given the pressure experienced by the health system in the past few weeks occasioned by the increased Covid-19 infections which have lead to the second wave, the Council of Education Ministers in conjunction with the National Coronavirus Command Council and Cabinet has taken the decision to delay the reopening of both public and private schools with two weeks. They will need to postpone their reopening to a later date.

This means that both public and private schools will now reopen on 15 February to provide relief to the struggling health system.

School management teams will head back to schools for duty on 25 January. Teachers will follow on 1 February.

"The CM took this difficult decision having considered all factors as backed up by research and statistics regarding the current state of the health system. The priority remains saving lives," continued the Deputy Minister.

DBE will work closely with all provincial education departments to discuss the true impact of Covid resulting from the deaths of teachers and other members in the sector.

Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, could not head the briefing as she is currently on sick leave and is said to be recovering back home and will be back at work next week.

Mhaule was not sure when it comes to the Minister's Covid status.

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