Reopening Schools - New Regulations Released



Schools Reopening

UPDATE: The Department of Basic Education has released a statement confirming that schools will still open tomorrow (1st June) for School Management Teams and teachers while Grades 7 and 12 will return on the 8th of June.

 Read the statement here:

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has announced new regulations allowing for the phased return of other grades from the 6th July and ending on the 3rd August 2020.

The health and safety guidelines in place for the reopening of the country’s schools state that both teachers and learners must adhere to a set of guidelines on how to safely return to institutions.

In the regulations published on 29 May 2020, the department outlines the dates on which specific grades will return.

Here is a breakdown of these dates –

8 June

  • Grade 7 and 12
  • School of Skills: Year 4

6 July 

  • Grades R, 3, 6, 10, 11
  • Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres
  • Learners in year 2 and 3 of schools of skills
  • Learners with severe intellectual disabilities, starting with Grades R, 1, 2, 3 and 6.
  • Special care centres for learners with severe and profound intellectual disabilities - starting with learners in year 1,2, and 3.

3 August

  • Grades 4, 5, 8 and 9.
  • Schools of skills: Year 1
  • Schools for learners with severe intellectual disabilities - grades 4 and 5

The department emphasised that the above guidelines will only apply if schools have complied with health, safety, and social distancing measures.

Read: The New Normal: A guide to reopening schools

“A school or office that has failed to comply with the minimum health, safety and social distancing measures on COVID-19, as contemplated in these directions and regulations, will remain closed until all the health, safety and social distancing measures are in place,” the regulations state.

The regulations further state that parents who choose not to send a learner to school must apply to the Head of Department, who may then exempt a learner either entirely, partially or conditionally, from compulsory school attendance – but only if it is in the best interests of the learner.

Parents who decide not to send their child to school must apply for home education.

Furthermore –

  • Officials, teachers, and learners who travel between provinces, metropolitans and districts to school will be allowed to do so, provided they have the relevant permit.
  • All school events including sport, eisteddfods or choir rehearsals, arts and culture festivals remain suspended until further notice.
  • Applicants who registered for the Senior Certificate and the National Senior Certificate will be administered in November /December 2020, unless unforeseen circumstances occur, in which case the Minister will take the necessary steps.
  • Permits may be issued by the heads of department, a delegated official or, in the case of a school, by a principal or an allocated substitute. The issuing of permits and certificates must be done in compliance with the regulations.
  • Any person transporting a learner to school must be issued with a permit.
  • Certificates and permits must be issued no later than seven days from the commencement dates specified for the phased-in return of learners, educators, and officials.

 Access the Disaster Management Act’s Directions on the re-opening of schools here:  Disaster Management Act’s Directions on the re-opening of schools