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Teachers ‘work as normal’

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All schools including early childhood development centres, private and public as well as boarding and special schools are affected by the Cabinet decision

THE NORTHERN Cape Department of Education has confirmed that while schools officially closed yesterday, teachers have to continue working until Friday.

In a post on its Facebook page, the provincial department pointed out that the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, and all MECs of Education concurred on Monday that in view of the Covid-19 situation schools needed to go on an early recess.

“The Council of Education Ministers (CEM) instructed heads of Education departments to develop an implementation plan that would include a curriculum catch-up plan. In order to achieve this objective teachers would have to work as normal in terms of the approved school calendar,” the statement said.

The Heads of Education Department Committee (HEDCOM) also met to process the directive of the process and to agree on a uniform implementation of the drastic measures announced by President Cyirl Ramaphosa. It was also agreed that staff would be staying until Friday to finalise the administration. HEDCOM proceeded to communicate the CEM decision to all schools and stakeholders.

“Heads of Education discussed the implications of the Cabinet decision and agreed that the best way forward is to send pupils home from March 18, 2020 and allow teachers the space needed to plan for the reopening of schools, which is scheduled for April 14, 2020. We are grateful that our teachers have heeded the call because they understand the circumstances we are working under and that the curriculum implementation remains our priority,” said Mathanzima Mweli, the director-general of the Department of Basic Education.

He said DBE would support provinces in ensuring that the CEM directive is implemented and that a comprehensive recovery plan is put in place to mitigate against the 10 days that will be lost as a result of the early close of schools.

Minister Motshekga has noted questions regarding pupils benefiting from the school nutrition programme and the plans during school closures.

The minister repeated her appeal to parents to keep their children at home and to support them with school work during the long period of school closures.

All schools including early childhood development centres, private and public as well as boarding and special schools are affected by the Cabinet decision.

The department will continue to monitor the situation and advise accordingly.