Covid-19: Independent schools delay opening by a week, cancel orientation days

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Independent schools will open one week later than planned.
Independent schools will open one week later than planned.
iStock
  • Independent schools have pushed out opening for 2021 by a week.
  • All pre-school activities such as sports and orientation have been cancelled. 
  • Parents have been encouraged to reduce socialising in preparation for new academic year. 

Independent schools have pushed back opening their doors to pupils by a week as a result of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The schools were supposed to open on 12 January, but Independent Schools of Southern Africa's (Isasa) executive director Lebogang Montjane said this has now been pushed out to 18 January. The decision was taken after President Cyril Ramaphosa moved the country to Level 3 Lockdown until 15 January.  

READ | Here's what the education department has planned for schools in 2021

Montjane said the majority of schools in the sector will open on 18 January, but a few will start online lessons from 13 January.  

"We have pushed the opening to 18 January as we await the president's announcement on 15 January regarding Level 3 lockdown. Depending on what we hear from government we will have a revised calendar. 

System

"There is a Covid-19 surge right now, so schools are thinking about implementing a hybrid system where some children are back at school and others attend online," Montjane said. 

Rage

Montjane said the sector was aware that the second wave was started, in part, by matric pupils from their schools when they attended Rage parties at the end of last year. Many of these events were subsequently cancelled. 

"You must remember that the second wave started with the matric Rage parties that were attended by independent schoolchildren so we have to be careful about how we open the schools. We also understand that this new Covid-19 variant is more infectious and it also infects young people," Montjane said. 

READ | All Rage Festival events postponed 'until further notice'

He said while they were ready to start the school year, Isasa had told all their affiliate schools to not host any camps or sports activities. 

Orientation

"Schools generally host camps and orientation days before the academic year opens. We have told all our schools to cancel all preschool activities like orientation and sports camps to avoid infections," he said. 

Montjane said while last year's lockdown that saw pupils attending class from home was tough on the sector, they were starting to see more parents signing up to their schools. 

"For us there was no time lost in terms of days of attendance and curriculum coverage. We didn't, unlike public schools, have to look at the curriculum and make a determination on what will be covered and what would not. 

"While we are seeing other parents moving their children from high fee schools to less expensive schools, we are equally seeing children joining the sector because we have managed to complete the curriculum," Montjane said.  

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
President Ramaphosa has punted the idea of mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations for South Africans. This is:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
The right thing to do. We desperately need more South Africans vaccinated to prevent further mutations and restore normality in our lives.
70% - 12329 votes
A risky strategy. Compulsory vaccinations may have unintended consequences and damage our rollout campaign.
30% - 5241 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
15.82
+0.2%
Rand - Pound
20.90
+0.4%
Rand - Euro
17.84
+0.1%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.29
-0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.14
+0.2%
Gold
1,789.89
+0.3%
Silver
22.47
-0.2%
Palladium
1,845.00
-0.5%
Platinum
963.50
+0.6%
Brent Crude
75.44
+3.2%
Top 40
66,123
-0.6%
All Share
72,537
-0.6%
Resource 10
69,116
-1.4%
Industrial 25
95,768
-0.2%
Financial 15
14,237
+0.3%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE