Unions ask Motshekga on way forward

Schools are currently on break with matrics returning next week and grade 7s in two weeks' time. It's still unclear what will become of the 2020 academic year beyond August. /Thapelo Morebudi
Schools are currently on break with matrics returning next week and grade 7s in two weeks' time. It's still unclear what will become of the 2020 academic year beyond August. /Thapelo Morebudi

Five teacher unions met basic education director-general Mathanzima Mweli on Monday night to find out when minister of basic education Angie Motshekga will reveal details about the management of the rest of the academic year.

When President Cyril Ramaphosa announced last Thursday that pupils will take a four-week break from July 27 to August 24, with the exception of matrics and grade 7s, he indicated that Motshekga would provide details.

Matrics were given a one-week break and grade 7s two weeks.

Basic education department spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga told Sowetan's sister publication TimesLIVE yesterday that they were in the process of "looking into the implications of the president's announcement".

He said a task team, approved by the cabinet recently, would look at the school calendar, the provision of basic services to schools, the revised directions, school nutrition and the phasing in of pupils.

According to close sources, members of the task team are expected to include education MECs and teacher union representatives.

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 programme".

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.

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

X