The North West Education MEC, Mmaphefo Matsemela declared that the province is ready for the reopening of schools on 01 June 2020.

This follows after a speech by the Minister of the Department of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga who declared that schools across the country will reopen on a phase – in approach and will start with Grade 7 and 12.

The schools across the country closed on 18 March 2020 to avoid the spread of the Covid – 19 virus. To this date schools have been closed for more than 2 months due to the thread of Corona virus which has affected the entire world.

The North West Education MEC, Mmaphefo Matsemela in the preparation for the readiness of the reopening of schools. She consulted with a broad range of stakeholders namely: Employee Unions, Congress of the South African Students (COSAS), Representatives Council of Learners (RCL), School Governing Bodies (SGB) Associations, etc.

“As the North West province we have a Covid – 19 Plan and through our consultation meetings I shared it with different stakeholders.  During the lockdown level 4 and 5, the sector of Education has never relaxed. We have been meeting to discuss strategies and ways of reopening school in a way of saving lives of learners, teachers and all officials of the department.

“Our Covid – 19 Plan has the Non – negotiables which our department committed itself to all stakeholders that we are going to comply with. The Non – negotiables entails on the cleaning of schools, provisioning of the Personal Protective Equipments to learners, teachers and departmental officials (masks, gloves, sanitizers and thermometers to be used for screening), water provision to the 171 schools with no water, provisioning of educators to those schools without teachers”, said MEC Matsemela.

Matsemela further said that the department is going to employ and train 1200 plus 200 EPWP who will be called Marebantwa. She said these workers are going to conduct screening to the learners and teachers three times a day (in the morning when they arrive, during the break and after school). She said they will capture date of temperate for all learners and teachers in school.

“Our plan involves provisioning of psycho – social support or counselling for teachers and learners to adapt to the new normal and will also outline ways to address the vandalized schools. We are working with the Department of Water and Sanitation to ensure that all schools with water challenges are provided with water tanks.

“When schools reopen the Grade 7 and 12 are going to have the entire school to themselves. The number of learners per class will now be reduced to 20 and one learner will be allowed to sit per desk, no more two learners per desk. When learners arrives at school the space will be demarcated for 1,5 meter to deal with social distancing”, said MEC Matsemela.

No one with a high temperature will be allowed inside the schools, such a person will be isolated to receive the medical attention from the Department of Health.  

For further or more info, please contact: 

Departmental Spokesperson – Elias Malindi: 072 892 8399/ 072 115 4855

Author: tkhechane