Officials visit Komani schools to check readiness

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As schools reopened recently, Chris Hani West department of education director Nicolaas De Bruyn paid Maria Louw and Nonesi Primary School a visit to check on the state of readiness in Komani on Tuesday.

The district director was accompanied by his management team and organised labour. Members of the district education forum accompanied the portfolio committee with the school principals, management team and members of the school governing bodies joining in.

De Bruyn said good progress had been made on the February findings in both schools.

The challenge the department was facing which, he said, was well known, was how to combat the spread of Covid-19 in schools and coupled with that to get the Grade 12 class of 2021 ready for their finals under such difficult circumstances.

”Getting the class of 2021 ready for the final NSC exams is a journey we have started and we are still on course. We had winter school camps and will endeavour to have spring school camps during the next holiday. On this journey we are also assisted by JENN (the department’s school supporting training programme) and we are positive that we will conclude this journey.

”The district and sector need all the support and are more than mindful that all sectors and the country at large are also subjected to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

On Monday, De Bruyn added, the portfolio committee on education met with stakeholders in the Chris Hani West district department of education as per the norm when visiting education districts.

”This engagement pertained to the portfolio committee’s previous visit to the district in February 2021 when they also engaged stakeholders before embarking on their program of exercising oversight by visiting schools.”

This engagement, he said, was to determine the progress on findings made during their previous visit. A few issues were raised as this meeting to get a sense of what progress was made since their last visit.

In order to accommodate 40 pupils in primary school classrooms, the Gauteng education department had advised the restriction of 1m in social distancing requirement be relaxed. This is because the implementation of social distancing had caused most pupils to miss more than 50% of learning time.

Whether this will also affect the Eastern Cape, the district director said: ”Social distancing, apart from sanitising and the wearing of a mask is one of the key factors to curb the spread of Covid 19 infections. The district is advocating it because it must be practised in institutions of learning. Unfortunately I cannot speak on behalf of Gauteng province,” De Bruyn said.