Back to school: Phoenix schools to be monitored, Gauteng and Limpopo say Covid-19 protocols are in place

26 July 2021 - 08:02 By nivashni nair
Schools throughout SA will reopen on Monday according to strict health protocols and other measures announced by the minister of basic education.
Schools throughout SA will reopen on Monday according to strict health protocols and other measures announced by the minister of basic education.
Image: Esa Alexander

Schools in Phoenix, north of Durban, will be monitored as the third term starts on Monday.

This follows concerns arising from threats on social media about targeting schools in the area after violence during the unrest which swept through KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng two weeks ago.

On Sunday, provincial education MEC Kwazi Mshengu engaged in “peace talk meetings”.

Department spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said Mshengu met with stakeholders in a bid to ensure the safety of teachers and pupils  and that of the community of Phoenix and neighbouring communities.

Mshengu is expected to visit schools in the area on Monday.

On Sunday evening, President Cyril Ramaphosa said schools throughout SA would reopen on Monday according to strict health protocols and other measures announced by the minister of basic education.

The Limpopo department of education said it was happy to welcome pupils back for the third term of school following their extended winter break.

“Pupils are returning to school this week on rotational timetables, as was the case before recess. The return of all primary school pupils for daily attendance is planned for August 2,” said spokesperson Tidimalo Chuene. 

Chuene said the education sector was on full alert and would continue to apply standard operating procedures for the prevention and management of Covid-19 in schools. 

“This includes ensuring the wearing of masks, daily screening, sanitising of hands and frequently touched surfaces and social distancing. Unauthorised, non-academic visits to schools are prohibited based on the Covid-19 risk adjusted strategy level and the need for schools to strictly focus on catching up on lost teaching and learning time.”

Chuene said  the national school nutrition programme would resume when schools reopen.

“Schools have been advised to feed all pupils daily, including those who come to school on a rotational basis. The pupil transport programme will continue to ferry pupils from pick up points in accordance to route arrangements.”

Limpopo education MEC Polly Boshielo will monitor the reopening of schools.

“We are happy to welcome back our pupils, teachers and support staff. We have a mammoth task ahead of us in terms of catching up on lost time, and at the same time navigating through challenges presented by Covid-19. I am, however, confident we will have a productive third term,” said Boshielo.

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi is due to visit schools in Springs, Brakpan and Irene on Monday.

“We would like to reiterate to all parents and guardians of pupils that we have continued to place the safety of all our teaching and non-teaching staff and our pupils at the heart of all our schooling plans,” he said.

“We have recruited thousands of Covid-19 screeners to help with the management of the coronavirus at our schools, including taking temperatures, ensuring hands are regularly sanitised and masks are worn at all times at our schools. These interventions will help us ensure we continue to provide quality education to our pupils while ensuring the safety of all.”

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