In preparation for the upcoming 2022 school year, Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga has briefed the media and clarified a number of issues in the education sector.
The minister began by addressing the staggered approach to the return of learners to school. This decision was based on the suggestion made by parents over a number of years.
She explained that over the last two years, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) implemented an approach where learners from coastal provinces returned to schools a week later than those attending Inland schools.
Motshekga addressed the challenges around classroom capacity in order to accommodate students. She however acknowledged that the responsibility to place learners in schools falls on the DBE.
There are currently around 13 million learners in South Africa. Approximately 400 000 learners have not yet been placed. This represents slightly above 3% of learners who have not yet been placed in schools.
Motshekga commended schools for complying with Covid-19 protocols. This, along with Covid-19 vaccination, contributed to the largely uninterrupted 2021 academic year. She adds that schools will be encouraging students to get vaccinated, with the support of their parents.
The Minister said, “It was agreed that we need to increase the vaccination for everybody eligible. We have agreed to prioritise an advocacy campaign, to encourage eligible people, both adults and learners of eligible age, to go get their jabs”.