Some schools won't resume 100% attendance due to social distancing rules - WCED
- Not all schools will be returning to full-time attendance in July
- The WCED says primary schools in the province have until 30 June to inform the DBE if they can't comply with all Covid-19 safety protocols at 100% capacity
- A survey conducted in May shows that most Western Cape primary schools aren't equipped for safe return to full-time schooling
- Education officials in the province are working on additional materials to address the learning losses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic
The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) says some primary schools in the province will not be able to safely return to full-time attendance next month.
The Department of Basic Education (DBE) issued a directive in May that primary school pupils (Grades R to 7) are to return to normal daily school attendance on 26 July.
The same goes for pupils attending schools providing special needs education.
However, a survey conducted by the WCED last month shows that out of 1,523 Western Cape primary schools and special needs schools surveyed, only 328 feel they are ready to bring pupils back at 100% capacity.
Kerry Mauchline, the spokesperson for Education MEC Debbie Schäfer, says schools can only return to full-time attendance if they can comply with all Covid-19 safety protocols, including 1-metre social distancing.
Mauchline says schools have until 30 June to inform the DBE if they cannot safely reopen with 100% attendance.
By the 30th of June, schools have to fill out a template from the DBE... to indicate if they can or can't comply with all the safety protocols while bringing all their schools back.Kerry Mauchline, Spokesperson for Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schäfer
During the sitting on Tuesday, the DDG indicated that we might see more schools actually say they can't manage that requirement because of these new directions.Kerry Mauchline, Spokesperson for Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schäfer
Primary schools that can't resume full-time attendance will have to continue with rotational classes and provide a detailed plan indicating how learners will get enough teaching exposure.
According to Mauchline, the WCED's curriculum teams are developing additional materials and support for learners who will have to continue with rotational school attendance.
We as the WCED can't unilaterally do away with the 1-metre social distancing requirement. It's gazetted in directions by the national minister.Kerry Mauchline, Spokesperson for Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schäfer
The schools that can't implement 100% attendance [while] keeping that space will have to continue with rotational timetabling at this stage.Kerry Mauchline, Spokesperson for Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schäfer