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Keep paying school fees, education head tells parents as lockdown looms

25 March 2020 - 15:07 By TimesLIVE
Parents have been asked to continue paying school fees, despite schools being closed.
Parents have been asked to continue paying school fees, despite schools being closed.
Image: SAMORN TARAPAN/123rf.com

Schools might be closed, but they still need your fees.

This was the message from the Western Cape education department to parents on Wednesday.

Department head Brian Schreuder said many teachers employed by governing bodies relied on fee payments for their salaries.

“We are aware that many families will suffer income losses during this period and remind them that there is an option to apply for fee exemption when schools return,” said Schreuder in a statement.

“This is important to do as it will enable schools to apply for fee compensation.”

He also pleaded with parents to ensure children remain “focused and stimulated” during the three-week lockdown starting on Thursday night at midnight.

“The [department] is engaging with our colleagues in curriculum, as well as from other provinces, to collate programmes that will benefit every learner across this province,” said Schreuder.

“The timetables for and information on these programmes will be communicated once ready, but in the interim I would like to appeal to every parent to prioritise reading as a daily activity in your homes.

“We are planning for all eventualities, including home-based, quality teaching and learning using a variety of mechanisms, including digital web-based resources, radio and televised broadcasts and catch-up programmes for when schools reopen.”

The department’s e-portal has been updated for home learning and examination papers are available for download.

Schreuder said security had been arranged at 450 schools in the province during the lockdown. “We ask that communities remain vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour in and around our schools to the police as soon as possible,” he added.