CONTAINMENT/ MANAGEMENT OF COVID 19 FOR SCHOOLS AND SCHOOL COMMUNITIES
In accordance with the pronouncement by the President on 15 March 2020, schools will be closed from 18 March 2020 and will reopen on 14 April 2020. This decision has been informed by the warnings provided by the National Institution of Communicable Diseases and World Health Organisation who have highlighted the alarming increase of infections within the country over a three day period. Schools have thus been identified as high risk areas that could spread the infections easily. For this reason the following measures as illustrated below have been put in place.
Due processes will be followed to formally amend the school calendar to make up the loss of nine days of schooling. In order to recover the academic programme, the June 2020 vacation will be shortened by seven (7) school days and the September 2020 vacation will be shortened by two (2) school days.
All the school based and non-school based activities that require a gathering of more than 100 learners will be either scaled down, suspended or postponed until further notice. The following programmes are amongst those that are going to be affected:
- Spelling BEE;
- ABC Motsepe South African Schools Choral Eisteddfod (SASCE);
- Moot Court;
- School Athletics;
- Assemblies at school; and
- School camps.
Provincial Education Departments, districts and schools are advised to take advantage of this time and are encouraged to utilise the time effectively by ensuring that learners participate in established stimulating programmes such as the Read to Lead programme, maths buddies, constructive holiday assignments, etc through the supervision and guidance of parents and the broader community whilst learners are at home. This will be supported through the provisioning of workbooks, worksheets, readers, etc.
The Department of Basic Education will provide guidelines on vacation schools/camps to ensure alignment with the Presidential Proclamation on the state of disaster in South Africa. During this period of declaration of the state of disaster, the situation will be monitored daily and regular communication updates will be pronounced by using one channel of communication coordinated by the Department of Basic Education.
Although schools have been closed, the closure does not extend to office based institutions which will still remain open to provide services to the education sector. All Offices must provide hand sanitisers at the workplace as well as at any venue where smaller groups below 100 people are compelled to meet. Where possible it is encouraged that digital platforms be utilised to conduct such meetings to minimise physical contact.
All Provincial Education Departments, Districts and Schools must put in place a recovery programme that will ensure that the lost teaching, learning and assessment time is recovered in all schools across all grades.
Provincial Education Departments are obliged to ensure compliance with the new school dates and the arrangements for extracurricular activities.
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