KZN education department says no to return of Grade R pupils on Monday

The KwaZulu-Natal province education department has made it clear on Thursday that Grade R pupils will not resume school. Thousands of students and teachers have tested positive for coronavirus in South Africa which is a hindrance for school resumption.

In a circular signed by the provincial education department head, Enock Nzama, parents were informed that all Grade R pupils will have to stay at home for the time being.

South Africa school resumption update

Some weeks ago, the Council of Education Ministers (CEM) released a statement that all pupils in Grade R, 6 and 11 should resume school on July 6. This decision was made after a meeting between Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga and the education MECs on Thursday.

The CEM circular read as follows; “After careful consideration of all the reports, [the] CEM took a decision that only Grade 6, Grade 11 and Grade R will return to school on Monday, 6 July 2020. The decision affects all provinces.”

But due to the situation of things, KwaZulu-Natal will not honour this statement, the KwaZulu-Natal province circular state that;

“However, the province has taken a decision to only accept Grade 6 and Grade 11 on the 6 July 2020. Grade R learners must temporarily remain at home and await further advice.”

The previous plan is that pupils in Grades R, 1, 2, 3, 6, 10 and 11 will return to the classrooms on Monday to join the Grade 7 and Grade 12 who have resumed school since June 8. These students resume school after they have been away for more than 10 week due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In Motshekga statement, he said, “We will adjust the reopening phases, based on the risk-adjusted strategy, which is a considered attempt to balance our approach to school reopening, taking into account all factors that affect the work we do.”

The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education made the decision after observation of an increase in cases and the recognition that schools were based in communities, directly affecting pupils.

There is also a report from the principals of schools that they having difficulties in screening Grade 7 and Grade12 pupils. They also state that they might not be able to cope with other grades when they resume, according to a survey conducted by teacher unions.

The COVID-19 has affected so many South African pupils and teachers across the country according to the national department over the weekend.

The world is in a very critical condition, it is very important for us to follow all the instruction from the health department to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

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