After weeks of staying at home, thousands of Grade 7 and 12 learners return to school on Monday, June 8.

The department of Basic Education has expressed its satisfaction with the state of readiness for public schools.

“We can now say with confidence that about 95% of our schools have been ably provided with the COVID-19 related imperatives.

The sector, with the assistance of our partners, will strive to deal with the remaining 5% to ensure that the unfettered rights to health, safety and basic education for all South African children are protected,” said the Minister.

She said the golden rule is that there will be no school that will resume if not ready to do so.

For the remaining 5% of learners, alternative measures have been developed by different districts such as temporarily using neighbouring schools, using underutilised spaces in boarding schools and putting other learners in camps.

“Because some of the alternatives need consultations with parents, provinces will be engaging parents and following the appropriate protocols to get parental concessions. All of this, we agreed, should be finalised during the course of the week and recovery programs be implemented,” said the Minister.

The department had earlier planned for schools to reopen on 1 June 2020.

However, the Minister announced that more time was required to mop up the state of readiness for the resumption of schooling, in order to comply with the health, safety and social distancing requirements.

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