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Ministers pull out all the stops to save the school year

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Cabinet has announced that wholeheartedly supports Ministers Angie Motshekga and Dr Blade Nzimande as they work tirelessly to ensure that schools and higher learning institutions do not lose the 2020 academic year.

“...Teachers can bank on us, students at universities can bank on us and all our people at various schools...” Minister in the Presidency, Jackson Mthembu, said on Thursday.

Mthembu was addressing the media on the outcomes of Cabinet's meeting held on Wednesday.

The executive has welcomed the reopening of schools. 

Grade 6 and 11 learners returned to class on Monday, while their peers in Grades 7 and 12 went back last month following the temporary closure of public schools to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

“Cabinet also welcomed the announcement that under alert level 2 lockdown, all universities will be allowing the controlled return of students to campus-based institutions, in line with criteria published in the government gazette,” Mthembu said.

A report released this morning stated that a maximum of 66% of students would be allowed to resume their studies at university campuses.

Read also: More universities reopening soon

In the meantime, Technical and Vocational Education and Training college students will systematically return to campus.

“We also welcome the reopening of Community Education and Training Centers, and the return of staff to their workplace,” Mthembu said.

The reopening of higher learning institutions will be done in terms of the detailed COVID-19 management plans in place across the sector.

This is to guarantee the continued safety of students and staff, while also allowing better access to campus, teaching and learning for more students.

“The Department of Basic Education has also put in protocols to [prevent] teachers and learners from contracting Coronavirus at our basic education institutions,” said Mthembu.

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