Johannesburg – Primary schooling is expected to take steps closer to normality as thousands of pupils will return to class on a daily basis from Monday.
This will allow full attendance of pupils from grades R to 7, as well as learners attending special education needs’ schools, followed extensive talks with eh Basic Education Department, teacher unions and the National Coronavirus Command Council.
The department the return of learners from primary school would enable educators to recover teaching time that was lost due to the recently extended school break.
The return of primary school learners comes on the back of a successful vaccination programme for the education sector, with more than 517,000 personnel having received their vaccines.
The department said that since June last year, most pupils had been following a rotational timetable to curb the spread of infections in schools.
But rotational attendance and sporadic school closures had resulted in many school children falling behind on the curriculum.
According to Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, as many as 57 primary schools in the province said that they were not ready to accommodate all pupils just yet.
“We’ve got 2,300 schools in Gauteng, only 57 schools have overcrowding challenges. Of the 57 schools that have overcrowding challenges or other challenges like electricity, water or other things, we are putting in mobile classrooms. I’ve personally written letters to all the mayors in our province, requesting that they assist us where there are challenges of water because to fight COVID, you need to wash your hands, frequently, so you can’t have a school that has water challenges.”
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga will join Lesufi as they monitor the first day of the return of all primary school pupils.