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Grade 12 Learners Return To School

Grade 12 learners and teachers are back at school, following a one week break. These learners are part of the first grade to be phased in after the break and the spotlight is now on them, as the end of the school year continues to draw close. 

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Spokesperson of the Department of Education, Elijah Mhlanga said schools are ready for the return of matric learners, as the break allowed the department to tackle issues such as safety, resources and legal matters.

He said the department was now working towards making sure schools are ready to receive grade 7 learners who will return to school next week.

Mhlanga said covid-19 has overstretched the resources of the country and the department was doing its best to collaborate with other departments for help.

"We have worked together with our partner departments who work in this space, such as Department of Social Development as well as the Health Department."

He said the Basic Education Department had its own resources, however, this was not enough.

"We have never anticipated that we'd have a challenge of this magnitude in this country, so we are doing work with what we have under the circumstances but we hope that the situation will improve as we go."

"What remains of huge concern now is the increasing infection in communities which then affect all sectors of the country."

Basil Manuel of the National Professional Teachers' Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA) said the organisation supported the closure of schools for many reasons, one of them being the readiness of the system. 

"I sincerely hope that they have seized upon this time to ensure that every school is ready. When the next cohort of learners comes in, we don't want to be back in that space where we are standing against one another because there have been no deliveries. This is the time to have sorted it out" said Manuel. 

He said the government still has time to make sure that it delivers for all learners before the school break ends.

"Our Department of Education must realise that they are the persons standing between the health and welfare of children, teachers and dreaded disease."

 

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