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Guidelines on South African schools reopening

The Department of Education’s scramble to save the academic year seems to have found some direction as the education body announced early on Wednesday regulations to be adhered to when schools reopen. No date has been announced yet for the reopening.

A presentation to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Basic Education as well as the Select Committee on Education, Technology, Arts and Culture, outlined how the department plans to tackle the spread of Covid-19 on the school grounds.

Guidelines included adherence to social distancing, infrastructure and furniture, as well as transport.

In addition to set guidelines, teachers and learners will be subject to screenings (temperature checks) once schools reopen, starting with grades 7 and 12 pupils. Those with high temperatures will be considered for isolation and testing.

Where social distancing is concerned, there should be no more than 2 learners per desk. No hugging or handshaking should take place and direct contact should be avoided.

All teachers and learners should wear masks at all times. Large gatherings such as sport matches and festivals have been cancelled. Any mandatory extra classes should be conducted in small groups.

The department also said classrooms should be sanitized before school starts, and hands are to be sanitized upon entering the classroom. Limited movement between classes should be considered, while desks shouldn’t be cluttered in classrooms.

Regarding the transportation of learners, the department said it will be working with the Department of Transport to ensure that all buses are sanitized before the start of a trip. Distances should be maintained between students on the bus. Hands are to be sanitized upon entering the bus, and masks are to be worn before boarding the bus at the beginning of each day.

The department has put together and hygiene and sanitation package to assist school in keeping up with the guidelines. Each package contains cleaning and disinfection materials, hand washes, sanitizers, personal protective equipment, gloves, cloth face masks and thermometers.

Although there is no clear cut date as to when school will resume, there seems to be a plan in place to try and control the spread of the virus that has taken away 25 learning school days.

Content created and supplied by: OnkeNgcuka (via Opera News )

Committee on Covid-19 Department of Education Select Committee on Education South African


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