School reopening dates: Parents can 'keep kids home' – on one condition

Education Minister Angie Motshekga has confirmed the school reopening dates for South Africa. However, the reintroduction to classrooms will be phased, and only Grade 12 and Grade 7 students will return on the confirmed date of Monday 1 June. Parents of children in Grades 2 and below won't send their youngsters back to lessons until July.

School reopening dates: Parents can keep children home. If…


The reaction to the news has been mixed – something that Motshekga and her team seemed well prepared for. To counter the inevitable concerns of parents, the minister has confirmed that caregivers may keep their children at home – but only if they agree to homeschool them. The department also stated that kids could be kept at home and reapply for their current Grade in the next school year – but no spaces will be guaranteed:


"If as parents you are anxious that is understandable. You can keep your child at home but you have to register to homeschool them. If you decide not to have them come back, you have to apply for them to get a space next year. We urge parents to work with us on this matter."Angie Motshekga



What we know about the school return plans so far:


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. The respective final years of secondary and primary school are seen as the most critical for our young students.


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. More details will be published in the Government Gazette this week, in regards to the school reopening dates.