Johannesburg– South African Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga has announced that the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) in South Africa had approved June 1 2020 as the first day of school for Grades Seven and 12, and while she cannot guarantee that nobody will be infected, she said people must access education even if there is a danger of Covid-19.
Motshekga revealed this development during a media briefing on Tuesday evening where she said their department is planning to reopen schools using a phased in approach to ensure that two grades that will go to school early June are safe from the coronavirus, Mail&Guardian has reported.
Deputy minster Regina Mhaule said preparations to reopen schools are underway.
“In some schools deliveries have already taken place. So, there is no way that teachers will come to school and find that there are no sanitizers… so we are fighting this Covid-19 together,” she said.
Motshega said it is impossible to have a guarantee that people will not die as they reopen schools but their department is doing everything in its capacity to protect them by implementing coronavirus measures that will be enforced in all educational institution so as to lower the risk of spreading the coronavisus.
“I cannot guarantee anything. People are rightfully anxious and therefore we have to work with them but I have no reason to doubt [provinces] just because I cannot make guarantees.
“And that is why we opened the economy. We did not say we will open the economy in Level 3 because we are sure then that we will not have the virus. Life has to move on. But we must make sure that people are safe,” Motshekga said.
“But I do not want to commit myself and say I guarantee that no one will die but we will try by all means to make sure that people are safe because there is no need for people to find themselves in danger. We are not planning to put people in danger,” she added.
Motshekga said their department is working with the medical experts led by the department of health to inform its plan to reopen school in a safe way.