The unions remained tight-lipped about Monday night’s meeting but according to sources, Motshekga will meet the nine education MECs this week “to galvanise all provincial education departments to follow a common DBE [department of basic education] programme”.
TimesLIVE understands that the issue of former Model C schools opting to bring back grades other than grades 12 and 7 before August 24 also came up for discussion at the meeting.
At least two schools, Fairland Primary School in Johannesburg and Manor Gardens Primary in Durban, told parents last week they would open for grades R to 7 on August 12. This was because they had been granted permission before Ramaphosa’s announcement to phase in more than grades 12 and 7.
The schools, according to the Federation of Governing Bodies of SA Schools, are acting within the law because the revised school calendar, gazetted by Motshekga on June 11, is still in force.
Mhlanga said on Saturday that the process of amending the revised school calendar was at an advanced stage and would be gazetted soon.
He said directives on the return of grades, other than grades 12 and 7, would be issued this week. The meeting was told that grade 7s would return on August 12 and not August 10, the date mentioned by Ramaphosa. This was because, according to the revised school calendar, August 10 was a public holiday and August 11 a school holiday.
The meeting also heard that provincial education departments would issue clear directives on, among other things, which teachers would report for duty when grade 12s return on August 3 and when grade 7s start on August 12.
Chris Klopper, CEO of the SA Teachers' Union, declined to comment on Monday night's meeting, saying it was confidential.