Gauteng, KZN ready for the new school year

Gauteng, KZN ready for the new school year
Schools in both Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal have been given the green light to open their doors to students on 15 February 2021.

KwaZulu-Natal

In a virtual briefing on Tuesday, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala said, "The main aim is to have the first lesson during the first hour of the first day of school. This calls for readiness in terms of learner admission, availability of physical resources such as classrooms, stationary, textbooks, school furniture, water, sanitation, COVID-19 essentials, learner transport, as well as nutritious food for learners who are beneficiaries of the National School Nutrition Programme.”

Zikalala reported that out of 2,771,015 learners expected to be admitted, the province had admitted 2,769,212.

Gauteng

The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education says it is satisfied with the overall preparedness of the Gauteng Department of Education to begin the 2021 academic year.

The committee made the remarks following an oversight visit to the province on Monday to assess school readiness for the academic year.

The chairperson of the committee, Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba, said the briefing received from Gauteng Education Department has assured the committee members that schooling will commence in earnest come 15 February.

“At the centre of commencement of the academic year is the need to ensure safety for both teachers and leaners. The department has assured the committee that personal protective equipment will be delivered from 3 February, and will be completed before teaching and learning commences,” Mbinqo-Gigaba said.

While the committee is generally satisfied with the province’s preparedness, it raised its concerns about learners who have applied but have not been placed to date.

The chairperson warned that this will have a negative impact on the lives of the 3,283 learners, who have not yet been placed.

“Although the committee is cognisant that Gauteng faces in-migration, with 222,275 applications for placement, placing unprecedented pressure on its systems and resources, it has requested that the department expedite processes to place these learners,” Mbinqo-Gigaba said.