Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, on Friday 5 June, said that 351 schools had been broken into in the Gauteng province since the start of the lockdown in March. 

We have been under lockdown for around 70 days now which means that over 300 schools have been broken into, in one province, in just over two months. Lesufi announced the devastating news, while the Gauteng Command Council (GCC) delivered its COVID-19 weekly update.

A TOTAL OF 15 SCHOOLS BROKEN INTO AND VANDALISED IN ONE DAY 

Although Lesufi came across as sad to announce that over 300 schools had been broken into and vandalised, he didn’t stop there. 

Lesufi went on to say that on Thursday 4 June, a total of 15 schools across the province were broken into and vandalised. Yes, in one day.

“In the early hours of yesterday morning, 15 of our schools were hit at the same time across our province. It’s something that worries us,” said Lesufi. 

This comes as schools, across the country, are expected to reopen on Monday 8 June

“In one school in Soshanguve, all the learner gadgets in that school were stolen in the early hours of yesterday,” he added. 

SCHOOL SCREENING SYSTEM 

On the upside, Lesufi said the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) school screening system would be rolled out. Here’s how:

  • The description of the system is to assist with capturing daily data relating to the temperature, comorbidities, disability and any other information relating to the COVID-19 Pandemic;
  • In addition, the system will be able to capture the numbers and names of learners and educators in the school on a particular day;
  • This information will be used for reporting and retrieval purposes;
  • The system is web-based so that it can be accessed on the Internet and from all available media, as long as there is connectivity;
  • The link of the system is https://gdeschoolscreening.gauteng.gov.za/
  • The link of the system will be loaded on the GDE website of education.gauteng.gov.za, as a second means of access.

HOMESCHOOLING

On Monday, learners are expected to return to schools, however, some learners and parents may want to opt for Lockdown Learning to return at a later date, and some may opt for homeschooling. 

According to Lesufi, all children remaining at home will be supported through a concrete and measurable programme run by schools and supported by districts. 

Reworked annual teaching plans will be packaged into 14 day learning activity packs (LAPS) for every 14 days learning cycle to be collected at school and signed off by a parent/legal guardian every 14 days. Assessment tasks will be coordinated with classroom-based assessment programmes. Parents will sign a commitment form to ensure fairness. 

LAPS will comprise, learning topics, topic summaries, step by step guidelines for tutoring, assessment tasks, memoranda, and zero-rated electronic media educational programmes. 

“Conference calls are to be scheduled at specific times for learners to ask questions – and where necessary – sanitisation rules apply,” said Lesufi. 

“Examinations will be written at school within social distancing regulations, in exceptional cases, the continuous assessment will be used,” he added. 

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Presh JM Reporter

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