Private schools allowed to open from 1 February, says Motshekga

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Independent schools are allowed to open from 1 February.
Independent schools are allowed to open from 1 February.
    • The Department of Basic Education says pupils at public schools will officially be back in class on 15 February 2021.
    • But private schools will be allowed to open two weeks earlier on 1 February, according to the Government Gazette.
    • The opening of schools was pushed forward by two weeks in light of Covid-19.

    Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says pupils at public schools must be back in the classroom on 15 February, but private schools will be allowed to open two weeks earlier.

    On Friday, the Department of Basic Education released a notice in the Government Gazette after Motshekga announced, on 15 January,  that the opening would be pushed forward by two weeks in light of Covid-19. 

    "Independent schools must delay the date for the reopening of schools for learners to return to school for a period of two weeks from the date of the pronouncement of the minister, on 15 January 2021.  Independent schools may not open earlier than the two weeks period... Officials may access school premises during the period of closure if required to do so, for purposes of preparation in anticipation of the reopening of schools," said Motshekga.

    Education spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga could not be reached for comment, however, he confirmed to TimesLive that the gazette meant that independent schools would open on 1 February. 

    As per Motshekga's announcement of 15 January, public schools would open as follows:

    • The principal, the school management team including education assistants and general assistants (Basic Education Employment Initiative) and non-teaching staff must return to school on 25 January 2021.
    • All educators must return to school on 1 February 2021.
    • All pupils must return to school on 15 February 2021. 



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