Pupils from Grade R until Grade 7 will be going to school daily starting from 26 July 2021, the Department of Basic Education has announced.

Motshekga signed the directions on Friday, 28 May 2021.

“In terms of the Directions primary school learners (Grades R to 7) must return to the daily attendance and traditional timetabling model from 26 July 2021. This provided that the risk adjusted differentiated strategy is implemented,” the department said.

Basic Education’s decision based on ‘risk adjusted strategy’

Under the current directions by the Department of Basic Education, primary school learners attend schools on alternative days and classified into various groups. It comes into effect at the beginning of the third term. Government has cited a risk-adjusted strategy for its decision, which will likely be criticised by many.

With the looming third wave of COVID-19 infections, the move may be seen as being implemented too quickly.

“Based on the risk adjusted differentiated strategy, schools for learners with special education needs (Grades R to 12) must also return to the daily attendance and traditional timetabling model from 26 July 2021,” the basic education department said.

“According to the current 2021 School Calendar the Second Term ends on 9 July and schools will reopen for the Third Term on 26 July 2021. A risk adjusted differentiated strategy means an approach to school attendance that is determined by the direction the COVID-19 pandemic is taking in the district municipality and country”

Department of Basic Education

The department added that teaching and learning may be conducted outside the confines of a classroom, only if all health and safety measures on COVID-19 are adhered to.

“The Council of Education Ministers, the Committee of Heads of Education Departments (HEDCOM), school governing body associations, teacher unions, principals association (SAPA), South African National Association for Special Education, (SANASE) and civil society organisations facilitated by the National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT) all had an opportunity to make input which informed the Directions that have been gazetted,” the department said.

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Presh JM Reporter

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