Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says at least for the first month of the new school year, pupils must not return to school full time.

Inland provinces start the new school term on Wednesday 12 January and schools in coastal provinces reopen on Wednesday 19 January. Motshekga updated the media on the departments readiness ahead of the new school term.

Motshekga said they are also working on placement backlogs in some parts of the country: “The Department is aware that there are still learners who are yet to be placed in schools. At the moment, Gauteng is experiencing challenges in this regard; and we appeal to parents and guardians to cooperate with the District officials to resolve any matter. Traditionally, admissions take a year to process; but invariably, we find that due to a variety of reasons, admissions spill over into the ensuing year.”

She added: “Delay admissions, impact on teaching and learning, as delays occur even where this should be avoided. We will continue to work with our provinces to ensure that we place all unplaced learners as a matter of urgency. We, however, implore parents and guardians to accept the schools in which their learners are placed. When schools have reach their maximum capacities, further admissions become impossible.”

The Minister said that Covid-19 protocols in the classroom would be re-evaluated as guidelines from the Department of Health changes.


The Department of Basic Education says all the required Covid-19 health and safety protocols would be in place when primary schools learners would be required to return to school on a full-time basis toward the end of July.

Minister Angie Motshekga gazetted the changes to the school guidelines late last week which says that ALL primary school learners will have to report for classes on a full-time basis on 26 July.

Spokesperson, Elijah Mhlanga says studies have shown that primary school learners are not at high risk of Covid-19.

Read more here.

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