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Winter school holidays to be cut short

Basic education minister Angie Motshekga.
Basic education minister Angie Motshekga.
Image: Cebisile Mbonani

June school holidays will be shorter as schools close earlier for Easter holidays.

This was announced on Monday by minister of basic education Angie Motshekga at the inter-ministerial media briefing on the COVID-19 which followed the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa.  On Sunday, Ramaphosa announced that the schools will close on Wednesday, two days earlier, for Easter holidays.

Motshekga said to compensate for lost days the June holidays will be cut short by a week and once opened schools will be encouraged to extend tuition hours.

She confirmed the president's declaration that schools will be closed on Wednesday.

“As a sector we have determined that schools should resume on April 14 unless determined differently. If that happens we will communicate with parents. We are going to lose 10 school days as a result of the school closures,” she said

Motshekga said it must be noted that this directive affects all schools, public, independent and private schools.

 The department of basic education has announced that an assessment was done on the current state of affairs regarding COVID-19 and it was felt that drastic steps were needed.

 Ramaphosa declared the outbreak of COVID-19 a national state of disaster in terms of the Disaster Management Act (57 of 2002).

Motshekga said schools in particular have been identified as one of the biggest threats in terms of transmission.

“We considered that closing schools should take place but we also needed to give parents time to prepare for it. The drastic step of closing schools has become necessary but we also needed to ensure that measures are put in place to mitigate the impact,” Motshekga said.

Motshekga announced that all mass events of more than 100 people scheduled for March and April will be postponed or cancelled with immediate effect.

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