The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has published new school reopening dates for the third term following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of the escalation to level four lockdown. On Sunday, Ramaphosa, as part of his address to the nation about Covid-19 plans, said schools would be closing early for the winter school holidays. Schools will be closing this week, about a week earlier than planned.
In the Gazette published on Tuesday, the DBE states that schools will be reopening on July 19, as opposed to the original set date of July 26. This is for all grades. Teachers and non-teaching staff will, however, close schools on July 2, to allow for them time to deal with administration work. Winter schools programmes for grades 11 and 12 will continue under strict Covid-19 regulation guidelines and protocols.[JUST IN] Government Gazette regarding the early recess for schools @DBE_SA @dbetvnews @dbe_tv pic.twitter.com/Ji1PzHznpL
— Elijah Mhlanga (@ElijahMhlanga) June 29, 2021
The Gazette states: “Schools that have been identified as vaccination sites remain open for the purpose of administering the vaccines and officials are required to present themselves for this purpose as planned.
“The National School Nutrition Programme will resume when schools reopen; provided that schools must make necessary arrangements to continue to provide feeding until July 9, including to provide food parcels to learners who are beneficiaries to the National School Nutrition Programme.”
The DBE May/June National Senior Certificate examinations are to continue as planned and will be concluding on July 7. The marking of exam scripts would also continue under strict Covid-19 protocols.
Speaking to a television news broadcast channel, spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said the school closures followed recommendations by the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC).
“We always look forward to keeping schools open but when the Coronavirus infections in the country increase, we have to respond to that as well. We know that there was advice given to the government to take some measures that would minimise the coronavirus and stop the spread; we are participating and contributing in that regard,” said Mhlanga.
“The calendar has been moved by a week, closing a week earlier and opening on the 19th, meaning we are not losing any day. We don’t want to lose any more time and any more days as a result of disruptions but we do need to respond to the call that is made,” he added.