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Amendments Proposed to Directions on Re-opening of Schools

August 25, 2020

Department of Basic Education

Amendments are proposed to Directions on the re-opening of schools.

The basic education department published the draft amendments in Government Gazette 43642 in terms of Disaster Management Act Regulations for comment.

A new subdirection (1) is proposed to Direction 8.

It refers to guidelines developed for the specific categories of learners with disabilities.

Steps that heads of department need to take when learners do not return to school are outlined including availability and distribution of teaching and learning materials in appropriate modes and access to remote support from teachers; provision or loan of assistive devices for use at home and provision of and access to therapeutic services where necessary.

A new subdirection 8(9) is proposed indicating that applications for full or partial exemption of the learner from compulsory school attendance must be accompanied by requests for support in Annexure E1.

A proposed amendment to Direction 9 stipulates that if a school hostel exceeds the number of learners it can accommodate in accordance with social distancing requirements, the school hostel will not be required to close in its entirety provided that the school makes alternative arrangements in order to ensure the reasonable accommodation of learners in school hostels.

A new subdirection (5) is proposed to Direction 15 stipulating that a school may accommodate more than 50 persons in a school hall at a time provided that all health, safety and social distancing requirements are complied with.

A new Annexure E1 on application for exemption of learner to attend school is also proposed.

Comment is invited until 7 September 2020.