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It’s back to daily classes for primary school pupils from July 26 – DBE

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The Department of Basic Education says Grades R to 7 pupils will return to normal school attendance from July 26.

Johannesburg – The Department of Basic Education says Grades R to 7 pupils will return to normal school attendance from July 26.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga issued the directives in a Government Gazette on Friday, setting out the issue of school attendance and the matter of the suspension of contact sports at public schools.

“In terms of the directions, primary school learners (Grades R to 7) must return to the daily attendance and traditional timetabling model from 26 July 2021.

“This provided that the risk adjusted differentiated strategy is implemented.

“Based on the risk adjusted differentiated strategy, schools for learners with special education needs (Grades R to 12) must also return to the daily attendance and traditional timetabling model from 26 July 2021,” the department said.

The 2021 academic school calendar shows that the second school term was set to close on July 9 and reopen two weeks later, on July 26.

“A risk adjusted differentiated strategy means an approach to school attendance that is determined by the direction the COVID-19 pandemic is taking in the district municipality and country.

“The Gazette also states that where practicable, a primary school, a school for learners with special education needs that returns to the traditional timetabling model and school hostels must comply with the social distancing, minimum health and safety measures on COVID-19, as contemplated in these directions, the DBE Standard Operating Procedure and the Regulations.

“Teaching and learning may be conducted outside the confines of a classroom provided that all health and safety measures on COVID-19, as contemplated in these directions, the DBE Standard Operating Procedure and the Regulations, are adhered to and the safety of learners is ensured,” said the department.

They said the new directions should be enforced and read together with the temporary suspension of contact sport in schools, which was issued on May 27.

“The directions are an outcome of research and extensive consultation with stakeholders in the basic education sector.

“The Council of Education Ministers, the Committee of Heads of Education Departments (HEDCOM), school governing body associations, teacher unions, principals association (SAPA), South African National Association for Special Education, (SANASE) and civil society organisations facilitated by the National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT) all had an opportunity to make input which informed the Directions that have been gazetted.

“The Department appreciates the contribution from all stakeholders particularly in the management of the impact of the pandemic on schooling,” the department said.

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