Schools to close for third wave, but pre-schools may remain open

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DBE schools to close while ECDs remain open. Photo: Getty Images
DBE schools to close while ECDs remain open. Photo: Getty Images

As South Africa races towards the crest of the deadly third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, President Ramaphosa has placed the country at Alert Level 4 in a bid to curb the spread of the virus.  

On Sunday it was announced that among other measures to slow the spread, schools would be closing two weeks ahead of schedule.

In a media briefing held on Monday, Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga confirmed that schools are to close on Wednesday, 30 June and reopen on Monday, 19 July 2021. 

Read: 'The forgotten sector': ECD teachers excluded from vaccine rollout

In the briefing, Motshekga stressed that learners who study outside their provinces or stay in boarding facilities must be fetched by Friday 2 July, by 12:30 pm. Parents are urged to arrange transport for their learners.

Teachers and principals will remain at work until Friday to properly close schools.

Motshekga also mentioned that the supplementary exam marking would continue, and the vaccination programme will also continue as teachers are encouraged to continue to get vaccinated.

Daycares and pre-schools

Although not mentioned in President Ramaphosa's National address, Early Childhood Development Centres (ECDs) will remain open during this time, as stipulated in the gazette published on Sunday.

Minister Lindiwe Zulu governs ECDs under the Department of Social Development (DSD).  

Jennifer McQuillan, ECD owner and co-founder of ECD Owners of SA, asks that while the sector waits to hear any directions from the DSD Minister, ECD owners are to please continue to adhere to strict Covid-19 protocols and procedures, adding "the safety and wellbeing of our children, staff and parents is our top priority as usual." 

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