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Council of Education Ministers on Return to School

July 7, 2020

Department of Basic Education

The Council of Education Ministers (CEM) considered a number of variables last week when deciding that only Grades R, 6 and 11 will return to school on 6 July 2020.

The basic education minister, Angie Motshekga, revealed this in a statement on the state of readiness for the return of the second cohort of grades back to school.

According to the minister, variables included the rising community infections across the country, and the risk adjusted differentiated approach in dealing with the returning Grades to school.

The CEM also noted that provinces may be at different levels of readiness for return of Grade R learners.

“Therefore, CEM agreed that those provinces that are not ready to receive Grade R on 06th July 2020, must provide strategic and realisable plans for ensuring the reincorporation of Grade R learners to schools within, but not later than the end of July 2020.”

The minister pointed out, though, that provinces that are ready to receive Grade R learners on Monday, 6th July 2020, can proceed to receive those learners.

“What is critically important is that all Grade R and pre-Grade R learners who have already returned to schools, must remain in schools; and those schools that meet the health, safety and social distancing protocols, can reopen for their Grade R and pre-Grade R learners.”

The basic education department will continue to work with national associations responsible for learners with special needs to streamline the return of such learners to school.

“A further agreement by CEM is that all Grades that are part of the second cohort, should return to school in an orderly staggered fashion within, but later than the end of July 2020.”