School reopening: 419 000 pupils, staff expected at Gauteng schools on 1 June

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi visits Randburg Clinic School to assess preparedness ahead of the school reopenings.
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi visits Randburg Clinic School to assess preparedness ahead of the school reopenings.
Azarrah Karrim, New24
  • Just over 400 000 pupils and staff to return to Gauteng schools on Monday.
  • Parents need to apply for home schooling through their child's school if they  not returning to classroom.
  • Day 1 of school is an orientation day for staff and pupils on safety and protection measures.

A total of 419 000 pupils and staff are expected to return to 2 352 Gauteng schools during the phased reopening on Monday.

The Provincial Command Council revealed in a virtual briefing on Friday that, out of the total staff and pupils returning, 300 000 were Grade 7 and 12 pupils, 100 000 were teachers and support staff, 4 000 were screeners, 3 000 teacher assistants for pupils with special needs and 12 000 are general assistants.

READ | Covid-19: Find homeschooling information here

The Gauteng Department of Education also has 4 753 general practitioners, 454 environmental health practitioners (EHP), 172 health promoters,as well as 88 professional nurses contracted to schools until 31 March 2021.

"I can confirm that a parent of a learner in Bronkhorstspruit indicated that the learner tested positive. We have executed the task of tracing so that we can mitigate against that," Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said.

In addition, two teachers tested positive - one in a public and one in an independent school in Ekurhuleni.

"They have been identified and isolated, the schools will be decontaminated," he added.

READ | Reopening of schools: Gauteng 'almost there but not 100%' - Lesufi

Lesufi further confirmed that the department had revised its annual teaching plan, which is now being distributed to all the schools in the province.

Preliminary exams

He added that the department was going to go ahead with preliminary exams which would be written and concluded by October, so that pupils could use them to apply to higher education institutions.

Lesufi said parents who did not want their children to return to school were reminded that they could apply for homeschooling through the school their child attends.

"That application will be attended to in 7 days, and you will be given the curriculum for the home scholar," he added.

ALSO READ: Surge in inquiries for home schooling

The provincial government will allow the schools to open on Monday on the basis that the distribution of PPEs have been concluded in all districts.

"We have three schools that have limitations, one without a fence and two who do not have water and sanitisation. We have asked them to wait until we acquire the relevant resources. 

"In the absence of these issues, we believe that our schools that are ready, they are at different levels but on the first day they will open and we will provide support and guidance," Lesufi said.

The focus on Monday will be an orientation day for learners and staff on social distancing, sanitising, wearing masks while official teaching is expected to start on Wednesday.

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