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More than 150 NC schools closed since reopening in August

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More than 150 schools in the Northern Cape have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic since they reopened in August.

The provincial Department of Education said 12 schools are currently closed for disinfection. File image. Picture: Bongani Mbatha Africa News Agency (ANA)

MORE than 150 schools in the Northern Cape have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic since they reopened in August.

The provincial Department of Education said 12 schools are currently closed for disinfection.

Spokesperson for the department, Geoffrey van der Merwe, said the closure was to ensure that schools are safe for learners and educators.

“Out of the 158 schools, 12 schools are currently closed for disinfection while we are satisfied in the manner in which our education system handled the return of all grades in August.

“Schools are making use of differentiated timetables to ensure adherence to the Covid-19 regulations and guidelines,” Van der Merwe said, adding that the department is working around the clock to ensure that the academic year is a success.

“All our efforts are geared towards saving the academic year with specific focus on our Grade 12 learners. We have already commenced with Saturday classes and weekend lock-in sessions in terms of our matric intervention programmes.”

He said the planned incubation camps, aimed at assisting matriculants to prepare for the examinations, had to be put on hold.

“The planned incubation camps for all districts have been put on hold and we are busy reconfiguring our approach in this regard to ensure that learners benefit optimally from these initiatives. We also have to consider the fact that we find ourselves in the midst of a pandemic, which might place the lives of educators and learners at risk,” he said.

Van der Merwe also lauded the Acting MEC of Education who took over following the death of Mac Jack, who succumbed to Covid-19 last month.

“MEC Nontobeko Vilakazi is currently the Acting MEC and we deeply appreciate the leadership role she continues to display in the education sector as we navigate through these difficult and uncertain times.”