It would be risky to have had a blanket opening of schools - Motshekga
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on Monday morning apologised to South Africans for the inconvenience caused on Sunday when her department at the 11th hour announced that the phased reopening of schools would be postponed to 8 June.
Grade 7 and 12 pupils were expected back in the classroom on Monday.
Motshekga said that issues such as water for schools had not been resolved.
It would be risky to have had a blanket opening of schools.Minister Angie Motshekga - Department of Basic Education
She told the briefing she had to spend Sunday consulting with a series of people involved including to private schools.
I am explaining why I had to call the media (briefing) off but I just could not jump other steps especially with people who were affected.Minister Angie Motshekga - Department of Basic Education
She made it clear that there were concerns about anxious parents.
There have been questions about parents who still feel anxious about sending their kids to school because they are not very sure about their safety.Minister Angie Motshekga - Department of Basic Education
Motshekga outlined the directive:
The directive states that a parent who chooses not to send their child to school must apply to the head of the provincial education department, who in terms of the South African Schools Act, can exempt a learner entirely, partially, or conditionally from compulsory attendance if such exemption is in the best interests of the learner.
EWN reporter Thando Khubeka was at the briefing and tells Clement Manyathela Motshekga has apologised for leaving many parents in the dark.
She says pupils had to be turned back from schools after the last-minute about-turn changing the start date from 1 June to 8 June.
She (Minister Motshekga) only alerted parents about what was going to happen late last night.Thando Kubheka, Reporter - EWN
Kubheka says the unions have been saying all along that schools were not ready to reopen, especially those in rural areas.
Talking to people on the ground, they said they don't have PPEs, they don't have the right equipment, to start with learning and teaching in a Covid-19 environment.Thando Kubheka, Reporter - EWN
The minister said she met with various bodies, including school governing bodies, the unions and the Human Rights Commission about pupils returning to school and following those meetings she came to the decision that the date be moved to 8 June.
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