This is how phase 2 of back to school will work under level 3 lockdown

Basic education minister Angie Motshekga has issued directions to provide clarity and guidance for phase two of the reopening of schools  Image: CEBISILE MBONANI

Basic education minister Angie Motshekga has issued directions to provide clarity and guidance for phase 2 of the reopening of schools.

The second phase will see schools open on July 6 for grades R, 1, 2, 3, 6, 10 and 11. Classes for grades 4, 5, 8, 9 and the first year of schools of skills will reopen on August 3.

Here are some of the directions that have been issued and gazetted by the department of basic education:

Schools with disabilities 

Schools for pupils with severe intellectual disabilities (SID) will welcome back pupils for grades R, 1, 2, 3 and the final year on July 6.

Schools with autistic pupils will also reopen for the junior group (those younger than 13) and the final year (those 18 and older) in July.

Grades 4 and 5 for SID pupils will open on August 3 and schools with autistic pupils will reopen for the senior group (13 years and older).

According to the gazette, schools will be allowed to be open only if they have complied with the minimum health, safety and social distancing measures, which have been issued to schools already.

“A school or office that has failed to comply with the minimum health, safety and social distancing measures on Covid-19, as contemplated in these directions and the regulations, will remain closed until all the health, safety and social distancing measures are in place,” says the department.

School attendance 

The department has encouraged parents to home school their children, only if it’s in their best interest.

“A parent of a learner who does not return to, or attend, school after the phased return to school must apply to the head of department and the child may be exempt entirely, partially or conditionally from compulsory school attendance, if it is in the child’s best interests,” said the department.

The department said parents will be allowed to keep their children away only if they make an effort to ensure the child continues learning from home.

Schools allowed to deviate from the phased return plan

The regulations allow for schools to deviate from the phased return to school plan in respect of specific grades or dates provided that they have complied with the minimum health, safety and social distancing measures and have notified the department.

If a school is found not to have complied with the measures and requirements, the deviation from the phased return may be revoked and the school may be closed until the school complies with the measures and requirements.

“The principal or chairperson of the governing body or school board may appeal, in writing, within seven days from the date of notification of a decision to revoke the deviation of the phased return to school, to the MEC responsible for education in the province,” said the department.

Exams

Examinations will take place later in the year.

“The May/June examination for candidates who registered for the Senior Certificate and the National Senior Certificate will be administered in November/December.

“The November/December National Senior Certificate examinations will be administered as planned, subject to the alignment of the timetable to this year’s revised school calendar.”

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