- The Gauteng Department of Education says it is concerned about the level absenteeism for matrics.
- 2 099 schools in the province have been affected by Covid-19 cases so far.
- Schools that haven’t yet opened have been hampered by Covid-19 decontamination procedures and acts of vandalism, among other things.
Not all schools in Gauteng were able to open for returning Grade 12 pupils this week.
According to a presentation by Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi during the weekly Provincial Coronavirus Command Council (PCCC) update on Friday, 598 public schools with Grade 12 reopened, while 24 remained closed.
Meanwhile, for the special schools category, 35 of them were able to be opened and seven remained closed.
The presentation also stipulated that 352 independent ordinary schools opened and 85 could not.
Lesufi said those schools that had not opened were affected by, among others, Covid-19 cases and were being decontaminated while others by acts of vandalism and theft.
Lesufi was providing an update on the status of schools since they opened for Grade 12 pupils on 3 August after a four week long recess was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa two weeks ago.
Grade 12 pupils were allowed a week’s break, while those in Grade 7 stayed at home for two weeks and were expected back next week.
All other grades were expected return from 24 August, according to the amended school calendar.
Lesufi said the department was pleased with where the growth of the attendance rate, having started at 56% on Monday before moving up to 76% by Wednesday.
He added that the department was, however, also concerned about children not attending school and urged them to register for online learning so that they could catch up on the work they’ve missed.
By Wednesday, 78% of teachers had reported for duty.
Lesufi reported that as of Wednesday, 5 August, 2 099 schools were affected by Covid-19 – 714 being pupils and 1 671 teachers having tested positive.
The provincial department had, at this stage, received applications from 3 699 teachers indicating they wanted to leave the system due to age. Of those, 2 631 were approved and 200 declined.
This leaves the department with 6 747 posts for substitutes to fill in for teachers with co-morbidities.
Lesufi also said that at least 166 649 pupils received their meals through the National School Nutrition Programme between 27 to 31 July, adding that as of Monday, 42 000 pupils were transported by scholar transport.
The department said all personal protective equipment for the remaining grades to return from 24 August would be delivered just before the dates.