The South African Department of Basic Education has announced that it will begin phasing in the reopening of schools as of June 1.
The announcement was made by the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga on Tuesday 19 May 2020.
The department has released an outline of its proposed plans to reopen schools as the world battles the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
REOPENING CRITERIA: HERE’S WHAT SCHOOLS NEED TO DO
The reopening of schools will follow a three-tier approach to be adhered to be institutions, including; preparatory readiness, a curriculum recovery framework and a list of Standard Operating Procedures.
If pupils are to return, schools need to:
- See the return of School Management Teams and teachers (on 25 May) which will oversee the school’s state of readiness
- Sanitize all classrooms and facilities (to be completed daily as part of the Standard Operating Procedures)
- Equip all school staff with personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Recondition classrooms to facilitate social distancing and limit movement
- Procure a sufficient number of facemasks ( to be worn at all times by all learners and staff)
- Ensure access to running water and hand sanitisation stations
- Ensure COVID-19 screening systems are in place
STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES
Physical distances in classrooms, includes not more than 2 learners sharing desks;
- No hugging or handshaking
- Direct contact must be avoided
- Cloth masks to be worn by learners and teachers at all times
- No mass public events. All sports matches, choral practices and festivals, eisteddfods are not permitted
- Extra classes should be arranged in small groups that maintain social distancing
- Sanitize classrooms prior to the start of school day
- Sanitize hands on entering of classrooms
- Limit movement of learners between classes
- No clustering of desks in classrooms
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