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DBE adamant that it would be ready for pupils to return to school on 1 June

Written by: Matshepo Sehloho

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on Tuesday announced that the phased reopening of schools on 1 June has been approved by the National Command Council (NCC) and Cabinet.

Grade 7s and 12s will be the first group to return to school while other grades would follow in due course.

She said teachers were expected to be back at school on 25 May.

RELATED: Sanitisers, masks, water being delivered to schools ahead of 1 June - Motshekga

In a bid to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus South African schools have been closed for more than two months as the country was under lockdown.

Africa Melane on 702Breakfast speaks to National Professional Teacher's Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa) president Basil Manuel and Basic Education director-general Mathanzima Mweli to weigh in on the reopening of schools.

We hope for our teachers to return to school on 25 May and we also hope for many other things as the are certain undertakings where certain deliveries would happen. When we did our survey yesterday and the day before, the picture wasn't looking so bright but we take what the minister is saying and that deliveries are going to happen.

Basil Manuel, President - Naptosa

The statistics that Naptosa has gathered show a very big gap between what the minister was saying and what its members on the ground are saying, he says.

Naptosa accepts that schooling must start at some stage, however not at all cost. We want to see PPEs and all the other measures that we have asked for about the safety and health of our teachers is going to be there.

Basil Manuel, President - Naptosa

Unions want the returning to schools to be seamless but it wont be seamless if decisions to return are based on information that is not 100% correct, Manuel adds.

Mweli says the department is delivering consignments based on school's interval of reporting.

The first interval of reporting was for school principals and school management teams, the second interval is for teachers and the last one is for pupils.

Mathanzima Mweli, director-general - Basic Education

So schools will say they have not received all the PPEs if they have only received PPEs for principals and not for the teachers, Mweli says.

He admits that there has being miscommunication and delivery schedules to schools needed to be sent.

If we deliver everything to schools just at once, there is a risk that those things would be vandalised. You have seen how over 1,000 schools have been vandalised. And things delivered could be stolen we deliver all of them at the same time.

Mathanzima Mweli, director-general - Basic Education

He says the department has a plan and it is pursuing its plan to reopen schools.

From where we are sitting provinces are at different levels of readiness but we are happy with the progress that has been made so far.

Mathanzima Mweli, director-general - Basic Education

Listen below to the full conversation:


This article first appeared on 702 : DBE adamant that it would be ready for pupils to return to school on 1 June




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