Johannesburg – Among the issues that President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to give an update tonight on is that of pupils returning to school amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Schools are due to open as from January 25 to January 27, 2021.
In December Education Minister Angie Motshekga pointed out that close to 2000 teachers have lost their lives as a result of the virus. Many parents are again calling for schools to be closed for a longer period as the COVID-19 variant largely affects younger people.
But the department’s spokesman, Elijah Mhlanga, said more than likely schools will open on the proposed dated with a rotational approach.
He said that with C0VID-19 virus still in full effect, pupils will again days and or weeks when they have to report to school, and that the planned curriculum will indeed be covered.
“The Curriculum plan already took that possibility into account,” he said.
Motshekga reported in December that a three year recovery plan would be implemented to deal with the disruptions of 2020. She mentioned that unintended learning losses occurred due to extended closure of schools, with some pupils having only returned in September.
Mhlanga wasn’t able to give an updated stats report into positive identified cases and more deaths due to the coronavirus among teachers and learners.
“We will know when schools reopen. It is difficult to get stats now as schools are still closed and accurate information impossible to reach offices. As indicated the figure available is that covered in the Minister’s speech of 17 December beyond that we don’t have the latest as schools only open on 25 January which is when reports will start coming through with data’” said Mhlanga.
He did, however, point out that the provinces most affected by fatalities among teachers were in KZN and Eastern Cape.
He said with the hundreds of teachers the country has lost, the department is looking at recruiting more teachers.
“We will recruit as there are thousands of qualified unemployed educators,” concluded Mhlanga.
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