Cabinet determined to save the 2020 academic year

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Cabinet has thrown its weight behind Ministers Angie Motshekga and Dr Blade Nzimande as they work tirelessly to ensure that schools and higher learning institutions do not lose the 2020 academic year.

“...Teachers can bank on us, students at universities can bank on us and all our people at various schools...” Minister in the Presidency, Jackson Mthembu, said on Thursday.

Mthembu was addressing the media on the outcomes of Cabinet's meeting held on Wednesday.

The executive has welcomed the reopening of schools. 

Grade 6 and 11 learners returned to class on Monday, while their peers in Grades 7 and 12 went back last month following the temporary closure of public schools to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

“Cabinet also welcomed the announcement that under alert level 2 lockdown, all universities will be allowing the controlled return of students to campus-based institutions, in line with criteria published in the government gazette,” Mthembu said.

SAnews reported this morning that a maximum of 66% of students would be allowed to resume their studies at university campuses.

Meanwhile, Technical and Vocational Education and Training college students will return to campus in a staggered fashion.

“We also welcome the reopening of Community Education and Training Centres, and the return of staff to their workplace,” Mthembu said.

The reopening of higher learning institutions will be done in terms of the detailed COVID-19 management plans in place across the sector.

This is to ensure the continued safety of students and staff, while allowing greater access to campus teaching and learning for more students.

“The Department of Basic Education has also put in protocols to [prevent] teachers and learners from contracting Coronavirus at our basic education institutions,” said Mthembu. –