Education and Training Minister sets dates for Schools re-open

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By Mamello Mosaefane

Schools will now re-open starting from March 3-8 after being closed for months due to the Covid-19 restrictions imposed to minimise the spread of the deadly virus.

This was announced today by Education and Training Minister Nthloi Motsamai following Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro’s announcement of the lockdown restrictions being loosened after declining Covid-19 infections.

Motsamai announced that schools will resume between March 3 and 8 provided they meet safety rules set by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

Motsamai said all schools are expected to open with public schools expected to resume between March 3 and 8.

For Early Child Care Development Centres, Motsamai said pre-school learners who will be enrolling into primary schools will open on April 6, while the rest will open on April 12.

Institutes of Higher learning are also no exception in the reopening as Motsamai said they may begin as soon as they are prepared with WHO guidelines concerning Covid-19.

They however have no specific date as Motsamai mentioned they may resume “any time after her speech when they are ready with protective measures”.

However, strict Covid-19 rules are expected to be followed by schools before the reopening, and observations are already done to ensure that schools meet the safety requirements prior to the opening.

As part of WHO’s guidelines in preventing Covid-19, Motsamai said schools will have to arrange for students to go to school in shifts to preserve physical distancing.

Motsamai also noted that where necessary, schools may also arrange for Sunday and Saturday classes.

Motsamai said the ministry is already in the process of helping public schools to buy essentials such as soap and sanitizers to protect learners against the virus and teachers, educating a group of people train teachers on remedial teaching as well as standard operational guidelines to help teachers on survival during this pandemic time.

Motsamai also ordered that all students will have to move to the next class from the ones they were in when schools closed in 2020.

She furthermore assured that the educational programmes are designed in such a way that students fit in their new classes as the next class is always built from information from the previous class.

While Motsamai has made an assurance that public schools will be provided with some essential equipment, she pleaded for parents and guardians to make sure that learners go to school with masks to curb the spread of the virus.

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