Many parents are worried about how much school their children are missing.
What is the plan for getting our children back to school?
● The Minister of Basic Education shared information about the Department’s plan with the public last week.This plan tries to ensure that learners, teachers and other employees are protected against the Coronavirus. The plan will be phased in, meaning that not everybody will be allowed back at school at the same time.
● School office staff will return to work first, followed by school management teams and then teachers. Grade 7 and 12 learners will be the first to go back to school. The rest of the grades will be phased in after them. The Department is working on a revised school calendar and once it's been completed it will be published and shared with everyone.
How will our children be kept safe when they return to school?
● We understand that many parents are very concerned about their children's safety when the schools re-open. Schools will only be allowed to open once they meet a number of conditions to ensure learners' safety, though.
●All learners will be given cloth masks, and no group events such as assembly will be allowed. Learners' movement between classes will be restricted, and everybody entering and leaving a classroom will need to sanitize their hands. Classrooms will also be properly cleaned before the start of every school day. To maintain physical distancing in classrooms, no more than two learners will be allowed to sit at a desk. These are some of the measures that will be taken to protect learners.
Why must I continue to pay school fees if schools are not open?
● We know that many households are struggling during this time. Some people have lost their jobs while others have to stretch their earnings to cover more needs than usual.
● However, school fees play a major role in keeping schools operational, so please keep on paying your school fees if you can. The schools depend on school fees to be able to pay teachers' salaries. The fees are also used to pay for ongoing services such as security at school
What can we do at home to support our children’s learning?
● The Department of Basic Education is working with partners to make study material and other resources available to learners while schools are closed. This material is available online and on radio.
● The focus is on Grade 12 learners and on getting all the grades to read as much as possible. Lessons will be broadcast on SABC TV and Radio, DSTV, and E.tv, and also on community radio stations.
● All kinds of free study material is available online, and the Department will be introducing electronic readers, downloadable apps and electronic classrooms.
● Parents, teachers and learners can visit the DBE's website to find the various materials, including reading resources and useful links – www.education.gov.za.
● If your child has special educational needs, please contact your provincial education department to find out what extra support they can provide.