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Directions Regarding the Reopening of Schools Drawn Up

February 15, 2021

Department of Basic Education

Directions regarding the reopening of schools have been drawn up.

The basic education published the Directions designed to also combat Covid-19 in all schools in Government Gazette 44154.

The Directions were drawn up in terms of Disaster Management Act Regulations.

The Directions are designed to provide for arrangements for the return of educators, officials and learners to schools, hostels and offices.

They also aim to provide for schools, hostels and offices to comply with their obligations in accordance with regulations, all directions and circulars and Chapter H of the personnel administrative measures.

The Directions also aim to ensure a uniform approach, as far as possible, for arrangements governing the return of learners and officials to schools, hostels and offices.

The Directions focus on, inter alia, entry to school premises, opening of schools for academic year, school attendance, administering application for exemption, registration status of learner and marking of attendance register, learners with special educational needs, opening of hostels, sport and extracurricular activities, issuing of permits, symptom screening, social distancing and timetable models and curriculum trimming and reorganization.

The Directions came into effect on the date of publication.

Meanwhile, the department recently briefed parliament on the administration of the 2020 Combined November examinations.

The 2020 Combined November/June examination commenced on 5 November 2020 and terminated on 15 December 2020.

According to the department, the combined examinations were conducted against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic with over 1 million candidates writing.

The department pointed out that the examinations were well managed across all provinces with minimal irregularities but the leaking of physical science and maths question papers “adds a blemish to the entire examination”.

Marking commenced on 4 January 2021 and ended on 22 January 2021.

The department declared that the successful administration of the 2020 combined examination is a major achievement given the challenges relating to Covid-19.