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Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said schools would not be closed due to high infection rates in other parts of the country.
“The current situation we find ourselves in does not justify us closing schools,” Motshekga said at a press conference in Pretoria on Saturday.
She said the closures will be handled school by school.
Motshekga added that there was no need for a comprehensive approach to school closures.
There were currently over 25,000 schools across the country and it would make no sense to close schools if a few schools in a province were affected.
She said that following a meeting of the Council of Ministers of Education (CEM), unions, principals and school governing bodies, it was decided to keep schools open.
Schools will remain open until they close on July 9.
The minister said they would monitor schools on a weekly basis. She said they were continuing to monitor the situation.
Motshekga also said they would vaccinate teachers and target 582,000 teachers and support staff in the education sector.
She welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that vaccines for the basic education sector had been secured.
The CEM also welcomed the subsequent announcement by interim health minister Mamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane that the sector could now proceed with immunization of educators and support staff, Motshekga said.
“As you may already know, the vaccines have arrived and are being distributed to all provinces. The provinces confirmed today that they are ready for the vaccination program, ”she said.
Motshekga said the health and basic education departments had worked tirelessly to finalize a plan to immunize educators and support staff.
“We have also worked closely with our stakeholders, who have contributed immensely to ensuring the success of the immunization program,” said Motshekga.
She said they would keep schools open and not allow any closures.
Motshekga said that following the CEM meeting, they held consultation sessions with key stakeholders, including teachers’ unions, national associations responsible for governance in public schools, learners with special education needs, independent schools and the Association of South African Principals regarding the sector’s response to Covid19.
“I am happy to report that we all agree on the approach to take from today,” she said.
“With the support and guidance of the Ministry of Health, the immunization program will take place in the basic education sector with immediate effect. “
School closures will be managed school by school due to high rates of Covid-19, according to Motshekga
SourceSchool closures will be managed school by school due to high rates of Covid-19, according to Motshekga