On 30 April 2020, the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, briefed South Africans on proposed plans for the re-opening of schools. The briefing contained many important points, but most pressing is the revised school calendar which proposes dates for the return of staff and pupils.
According to the proposed calendar (which is yet to be approved by Cabinet and gazetted in terms of the Disaster Management Act) the following dates will apply:
Senior Department of Education office-based staff will return to work on 4 May 2020.
School Management Teams may return to work on 11 May 2020.
Teachers, general administrative and support staff may return to work on 18 May 2020.
Grade 12 and 7 pupils may return to school on 1 June 2020, provided schools are safe and Covid-19 compliant. Additional grades will then return on a phased basis.
These proposed dates are intended primarily for public schools. ISASA has sent a memorandum to members outlining the implications for independent schools.
ISASA has also distributed a memorandum informing members about the discussion between the National Alliance of Independent School Associations (NAISA) and the Department of Basic Education around possible earlier opening of independent schools.