POLL | Will you send your child to school on February 15?

15 January 2021 - 15:00
Pupils are set to return to schools on February 15. Stock photo.
Pupils are set to return to schools on February 15. Stock photo.

It remains to be seen whether parents will send their children back to school on February 15, the new reopening date announced by basic education department officials on Friday.

Department officials said the cabinet had decided to postpone reopening schools by two weeks as the country’s Covid-19 cases continue to rise.

Deputy basic education minister Makgabo Reginah Mhaule said: “Given the pressure experienced by the health system in the past few weeks, occasioned by increased Covid-19 infections which have led to the second wave, the council of education ministers (CEM) in conjunction with the national coronavirus command council and cabinet have taken the decision to delay the reopening of both public and private schools by two weeks.”

Mhaule said private schools that are already open will close.

“On the issue of private schools, the department will persuade the association of private schools to delay the opening of schools and for those who are open, to close, in line with the recommendation for schools to open on February 15,” she said.

School management teams (SMTs) will be the first to return to schools on January 25. Teachers will return on February 1 and pupils on February 15.

“The SMTs will go first to prepare for the return of teachers, and teachers will prepare for the return of pupils. Schools will use the time to finalise outstanding matters regarding admissions, especially the unplaced pupils in certain cases,” the department said.

“CEM took this difficult decision having considered all factors, backed up by research and statistics regarding the state of the health system. The priority remains saving lives.”