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Motshekga says there’s no need to panic ahead of primary learners’ return to school

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While the country has technically entered the third wave of Covid-19, it was announced that all Grade R to Grade 7 are expected to be in daily attendance as of July 26.

Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga. Picture: Kopano Tlape/GCIS

BASIC Education Minister Angie Motshekga says while she’s aware that there is plenty of anxiety about the return of all learners in primary school next month, there is no need to panic.

While the country has technically entered the third wave of Covid-19, it was announced that all Grade R to Grade 7 are expected to be in daily attendance as of July 26.

Similarly, schools for learners with special education needs (Grade R to Grade 12) must also return to the daily attendance and traditional timetabling model from July 26.

Motshekga said the department will continue to monitor the trajectory of the pandemic and make all necessary regulations and directions in line with the Covid-19 Risk Adjusted Differentiated Strategy.

“I realise that there is anxiety about sending all primary school children back to school at once. There’s no need to panic. Our decision-making is supported by empirical evidence.

“Research shows that primary school learners benefit more from continuous and unbroken contact time with their teachers.

“However, the health and safety of learners, teachers and school community remains of paramount importance and will not be compromised,” she said.

Motshekga, who mentioned that she has received her vaccination, reaffirmed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s message that the next frontier in a battle against Covid-19 is the roll out of vaccinations.

“I am also privileged to confirm that the next phase of the vaccine roll-out is for teachers and education staff of all levels.

“I am confident in the ability of our government to fulfil the ambitious target of vaccinating 67% of our population.”

Political Bureau