There’s still another 25 days to go until schools across South Africa are due to reopen – not that parents are counting, we’re sure. The new dates for a return to the classroom have been pushed back by more than two weeks, as Mzansi grapples with the second wave of COVID-19. However, despite the interests of public safety, these delays ‘will have consequences.’

Back to school – when do learners return to the classroom?

On Wednesday, we reported that the back to school schedule faces some radical changes. Although primary schools are likely to send all learners back, secondary schools face a ‘phased approach’. These classes will only attend school in stages, to reduce the number of pupils inside a facility at one particular time.

Both sets of students will start their return to school on Monday 15 February.

Mweli Matanzima is the DG of the Education Department. He has been blunt in his assessment of the issues facing schools at this moment. He has lamented the impact that the delays of reopening educational institutions will have on both teaching and learning, fearing that any further hold-ups could exacerbate this problem.

“Delays to the re-opening of schools is going to have a huge impact on the growing teaching and learning backlog. The two-week extension for the re-opening of schools was, however, informed by the burden on the health care system.”

Director-General in the Department of Basic Education Mweli Matanzima

When are matric results released in 2021?

The news comes as the Department of Education prepares its report on the matric exams that took place towards the end of 2020. Fraught with challenges, the assessments were blighted by ‘irregularities’ – and the ministry is set to publish a report on the various shortcoming next month. The matric results will then be released on the following dates:

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Presh JM Reporter

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