President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced public schools will close for a month from Monday, July 27, reopening in late August and that decision to close schools was not taken lightly by the government.
He said Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga had consulted widely with over 60 stakeholders in the sector – among them teacher unions, principal associations, parent organisations, school governing bodies, independent schools and other civil society formations.
Mr. Ramaphosa said Grade 12 pupils and their teachers would close for one week, returning to school on August 3, while Grade 7 pupils would return to school in two weeks, returning on August 10.
He said Motshekga would provide more details on the mechanics.
The President also announced that the current academic calendar would be extended beyond 2020 as teacher unions had called for.
The Department of Higher Education had announced that the 2020 academic calendar for universities and TVET colleges would be extended into 2021 to mitigate for time lost during the lockdown.
The President declared: “What everyone agrees on is that the health, academic and socio-economic welfare of the learners must be our foremost concern. The World Health Organisation argues for a balanced consideration for the child and the disease.
The best and safest ways to reopen schools are on the basis of low community transmissions”
Many wonder why the President never took the advise of Julius Male serious as the Economic Freedom Fighter’s (EFF) leader had advised Mr. Ramaphosa many times not to open schools.
Mr. Malema even sarcastically said on Twitter that the move by the government to open schools will end in tears.