angie motshekga Grade 12 Grade 7 school

Photo:@GovernmentZA / TW

Confirmed: Grade 12, Grade 7 pupils will return to school on 1 June

It’s back to school for learners, but children will only return in phases. Angie Motshekga has confirmed those in Grade 12 and Grade 7 will lead the way.

angie motshekga Grade 12 Grade 7 school

Photo:@GovernmentZA / TW

Education Minister Angie Motshekga has confirmed that the first set of schoolchildren will return to their classrooms on 1 June. As drafted in recent proposals, both Grade 12 and Grade 7 students will go back on their own before other year groups are phased in gradually.

Back to school: What dates do children go back?

The respective final years of secondary and primary school are seen as the most critical for our young students. With exam timetables and the need to finish this stage of their education looming over the department, officials in the education ministry have been racking their brains to prioritise this cohort.

Those in Grade 12 and Grade 7 have just 13 days before they set foot inside a school again. But this will be a very different environment to the one they last witnessed. Super strict social distancing rules will be in place, to prevent children from catching or transmitting coronavirus.

Motshekga stressed that the final call regarding the reopening of schools was made in conjunction with the National Command Council (NCC). With regards to the revised school calendar, the DBE minister noted that risk assessments in each province, district and school had informed their decisions to reopen institutions.

Phased interventions: When will each school Grade return to class?

  • Grade 12 and Grade 7: Monday 1 June
  • Grade 11 and Grade 6: TBC
  • Grade 10 and Grade 5: TBC
  • Grade 9 and Grade 4: TBC
  • Grade 8 and Grade 3: TBC
  • Grade 2 and Grade 1: Monday 8 July
  • Grade R: Monday 15 July

We are awaiting the gazetting of the amended school calendar.

How will Grade 12 be managed?

Grade 12 pupils need to get their school years finished at some point – even if they are stuck in a coronavirus hot-spot which is experiencing high volumes of infections. That’s where the idea to “accommodate all matric students in special camps” surfaced over the weekend.

However, this will not be enforced – as all provinces, metros and municipalities will move at the same pace. There is no need to isolate matric students in districts which won’t be allowed to move past Level 4 at the end of May.

More to follow