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Education - Coronavirus COVID-19

Schools
Universities and further education institutions

 

Schools

For the updated calendar go to School calendar.

Regulations

The following is an extraction from the published Gazette 44154, 12 February 2021 (as amended by Gazette 44922, 1 August 2021 and Gazette 45380 of 22 October 2021)

4. Entry to school premises 

(1) No person, other than a learner or official, may enter a school premises or hostel, unless such person obtains the permission of, and makes arrangements with, the principal or Head of Department in advance before entering the school premises or hostel.
(2) Sub-direction (1) does not preclude any state institution supporting constitutional democracy from executing their mandate.
(3) Despite sub-direction (1), the principal of a school who convenes or hosts an event or activity, as contemplated in direction 11, may allow entry of permitted persons for that event or activity at the school: Provided that compliance with social distancing, hygiene and safety measures on COVID-19, as contemplated in directions 11, 14 and 15, are complied with.

5. Opening of schools for academic year

(1) A risk adjusted differentiated strategy means an approach to school attendance that is determined by the level of reported COVID-19 infections in the school, and COVID-19 infections in the district, municipality, and country.
(2) Primary schools (for learners in Grades R to 7) must return to the traditional and daily attendance timetabling model from 2 August 2021: Provided that the risk adjusted differentiated strategy, as contemplated in sub-direction (1), is implemented, and the minimum health and safety measures on COVID-19, as contemplated in these directions, the DBE Standard Operating Procedures and the Regulations, are adhered to.
(3) Schools for learners with special education needs (Grades R to 12) must return to the traditional and daily attendance timetabling model from 2 August 2021: Provided that the risk adjusted differentiated strategy, as contemplated in sub-direction (1), is implemented, and all health and safety measures on COVID-19, as contemplated in these directions, the DBE Standard Operating Procedures and the Regulations are adhered to.
(4) (a) The social distancing measure in primary schools is reduced to one metre.
(b) Primary schools and schools for learners with special education needs that return to the traditional and daily attendance timetabling model, as well as school hostels, must ensure strict compliance with social distancing measures and minimum health protocols, which include the wearing of face masks, the washing of hands and the use of hand sanitizers, and must comply with safety measures on COVID-19, as contemplated in these directions, the DBE Standard Operating Procedures and the Regulations.
(5) All conditions in the Directions and Regulations published in relation to health, safety and social distancing measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, under Alert Level 3, still apply under Adjusted Alert Level 3 and must be adhered to.
(6) Only those schools and offices that have complied with the minimum health, safety and social distancing measures on COVID-19, as contemplated in these Directions and the Regulations, are allowed to open, as contemplated in sub-direction (1): Provided that a public school must also have all the COVID-19 essentials in place.
(7) A school or office that has failed to comply with the minimum health, safety and social distancing measures on COVID-19, as contemplated in these Directions and the Regulations, remains closed until all the health, safety and social distancing measures are in place.
(8) The Head of Department, or a person duly authorised by him or her, must continuously monitor and evaluate the opening of schools and the maintenance of hygiene and safety standards for the duration of the national state of disaster and must report, in writing, every two weeks, to the Department of Basic Education on—
(a) the number of COVID-19 cases in schools;
(b) any failure to meet the required minimum health, safety and social distancing measures on COVID-19, including those set out in section 5 of the DBE Standard Operating Procedures and the DBE Guidelines, including the COVID-19 essentials, in the case of a public school; and
(c) the Head of Department’s determination on whether a school is permitted to open, in terms of sub-direction (6).
(9) In keeping with the risk adjusted differentiated strategy and all health and safety measures on COVID-19, as contemplated in these directions, the DBE Standard Operating Procedures and the Regulations, a school that is unable to return to the traditional and daily attendance timetabling model which prefer to continue with a timetabling model, as contemplated in direction 16(2) and (3), must—
(a) by 6 August 2021, notify the Head of Department thereof, in writing, through the district office, and obtain the Head of Department’s approval to continue with a different timetabling model; and
(b) in the notification to the Head of Department, set out the steps taken to return to a traditional and daily attendance timetabling model and provide reasons for the decision to adhere to a differentiated timetabling model.
(10) The school must ensure that the plan, as contemplated in sub-direction (9), is communicated in writing to officials, parents and learners within seven calendar days.
(11) The Head of Department, or a person duly authorised by him or her, must make reasonable arrangements with schools to ensure the provision of learning material and continued teaching to learners who are unable to attend school due to—
(a) an underlying health condition;
(b) being self-isolated or quarantined due to COVID-19 symptoms or testing positive for COVID-19;
(c) a decision taken by the Head of Department to close a school or part of a school, after consultation with a health official in accordance with the DBE Standard Operating Procedures as a result of a confirmed COVID-19 case; or 
(d) a determination made in terms of sub-direction (8)(c).
(12) A parent, caregiver or a designated family member, must ensure that the teaching and learning material, as contemplated in sub-direction (11), are collected or accessed as per arrangement with the school.
(13) A Member of the Executive Council responsible for education in a province that is unable to comply with the return date to the traditional and daily attendance timetabling model, as contemplated in direction 5A (2) and (3), must, as soon as possible, submit a report to the Minister, in writing, on the non-compliance for the Minister’s concurrence or further determination, which report must include—
(i) the reasons for the non-compliance; and
(ii) a plan with the proposed dates for the return of learners to the traditional and daily attendance timetabling model, which details the steps that will be taken in each school to ensure that learners are able to return safely to school, and thereafter provide a progress report to the Department of Basic Education, every two weeks, on the implementation of the plans.
(14) The Head of Department must ensure that the schools continue to conduct assessments of learners and provide feedback to the learners or parents.
(15) A school, must comply with the social distancing and timetable models, as contemplated in direction 16.
(16) The Head of Department must ensure that the National School Nutrition Programme is made accessible to every qualifying learner.
(17) Aftercare facilities that are managed by or operating at a school, and aftercare facilities in education support centres, are allowed to reopen: Provided that they comply with the minimum health, safety and social distancing measures and requirements on COVID-19, referred to in section 5 of the DBE Standard Operating Procedures and the DBE Guidelines.
(18) Scholar transport must comply with the directions issued by the Department of Transport.

6. School attendance

(1) A parent, caregiver or a designated family member of a learner may choose not to send the learner to school for reasons that may include—
(a) any medical condition of the learner, including comorbidities;
(b) anxiety and fear related to COVID-19, concern for family members that are over the age of 60 or concern for family members with comorbidities;
(c) a preference for the learner receiving learning and teaching instruction through the online or virtual platforms provided by an independent institution, which is not related to the school that the child is registered at;
(d) a preference for the learner receiving learning and teaching instruction through the online or virtual platforms provided by the school; or
(e) an application for home education and deregistration of a learner from the school.
(2) (a) A parent, caregiver or a designated family member who does not send a learner to school for any of the reasons contemplated in sub-direction (1)(a), (b)
or (c) must apply, through the school that the learner attends, in terms of section 4 of the South African Schools Act, to the Head of Department, or a person duly authorised by him or her, for the full or partial exemption of a learner from compulsory school attendance for the duration of COVID 19.
(b) The application contemplated in paragraph (a)—
(i) must be on a form substantially similar to Annexure A1, stating the reasons for the application for exemption, which should include evidence of a medical condition, in instances where the reasons relate to a medical condition or comorbidity;
(ii) must be accompanied by a form substantially similar to Annexure A2, declaring the commitment for taking responsibility for the learner’s continued learning at home, which outlines the conditions that need to be adhered to by the parent, caregiver or a designated family member; and
(iii) may be subject to conditions.
(c) The Head of Department, or a person duly authorised by him or her, must make arrangements with the school, to ensure that the school consults with parents, caregivers or designated family members to receive the learning material for learners who are granted full or partial exemption from attending school, to ensure that continued learning takes place.
(d) A parent, caregiver or a designated family member who chooses not to send a learner to school must ensure that teaching and learning materials are collected or accessed, as per arrangement with the school, to ensure that continued learning takes place.
(3) A parent, caregiver or a designated family member who chooses not to send a learner to school for the reason contemplated in sub-direction (1)(d), is not required to apply for exemption from compulsory school attendance.
(4) (a) A parent, caregiver or a designated family member who chooses to deregister their child from the school and apply for a learner to be enrolled for home education, as contemplated in sub-direction (1)(e), must comply with the legal requirements for the provision of home education, as contemplated in section 51 of the South African Schools Act.
(b) A parent, caregiver or a designated family member of a learner who is deregistered from a school will have to reapply for admission and adhere to the admission requirements if they wish to return to a public school.
(5) Where a learner is self-isolated or quarantined due to being in contact with a person who has tested positive or is displaying symptoms of COVID-19, or is isolated following testing positive for COVID-19—
(a) the parent, caregiver or a designated family member must inform the school as soon as possible of the learner’s condition; and 
(b) the school must inform the Head of Department of the incident through the district office.
(6) Where a learner tested positive for COVID-19 through the processes at the school and the school is aware of the results, the school must, as soon as possible—
(a) inform the parent, caregiver or a designated family member of the learner’s condition and—
(i) request them to fetch the learner from school;
(ii) advise them to refer the learner to a medical practitioner; and
(iii) advise them to keep the learner self-isolated or quarantined at home; and
(b) inform the Head of Department of the incident through the district office.
(7) The application process for exemption, as contemplated in sub-direction (2)(b) also applies to learners registered at a school but who fall outside compulsory school attendance as regulated in section 3 of the South African Schools Act.
(8) A parent, caregiver or a designated family member of a learner who has already applied in 2020 for the full or partial exemption from compulsory school attendance for any of the reasons contemplated in sub-direction (1), and whose application was successful, is not required to re-apply for exemption.
(9) The principal of the school, or the person duly authorised by him or her, must, with the consent of a parent, caregiver or a designated family member of a learner, make arrangements for a learner who is registered at the school to receive psychosocial support services, where required.

7. Administering application for exemption

(1) Where a parent, caregiver or a designated family member of a learner applied to the Head of Department, or a person duly authorised by him or her, for full or partial exemption of the learner from compulsory school attendance, as contemplated in direction 6, the Head of Department must exempt the learner, as contemplated in direction 6, if he or she is satisfied that—
(a) the exemption is in the interest of the learner;
(b) the parent, caregiver or a designated family member will take responsibility to oversee the learning of the learner at home; and
(c) the parent, caregiver or a designated family member will comply with any reasonable conditions set by the Head of Department for the full or partial exemption.
(2) Where a parent, caregiver or a designated family member of a learner has applied for exemption of a learner from compulsory school attendance, as contemplated in direction 6, the learner is exempted from attending school until such time as the Head of Department has considered and responded to the application for exemption.
(3) The Head of Department must consider and finalise the application for exemption within 30 days of receipt of the application.
(4) Subject to sub-direction (5), the Head of Department may withdraw the exemption referred to in sub-direction (1).
(5) The Head of Department may not withdraw the exemption until he or she—
(a) has informed the parent, in writing, of his or her intention to do so and the reasons therefor;
(b) has granted the parent an opportunity to make representations to him or her in relation to such decision; and
(c) has duly considered any such representations received.
(6) A parent, caregiver or a designated family member who is aggrieved by the decision of the Head of Department to withdraw an exemption of a learner from compulsory school attendance in terms of sub-direction (4), may lodge an appeal, in writing, to the Member of the Executive Council against the decision to withdraw the exemption.

8. Registration status of learner and marking of attendance register

(1) In the event that a learner is granted an exemption from compulsory school attendance, as contemplated in direction 6, or is unable to attend school, as contemplated in direction 5(11)—
(a) nothing in these Directions purports to alter the registration status of a learner at the specific school where the learner is registered; and
(b) the learner continues to be registered with their school.
(2) A school must maintain accurate daily attendance registers of learners.
(3) A learner must be marked absent in the attendance register when the learner is not physically present at school.
(4) The school must maintain records of—
(a) all learners who are unable to attend school for reasons contemplated in direction 5(11); and
(b) all exemptions granted in terms of direction 6.

9. Learners with special educational needs

(1) (a) All public schools, including public schools for learners with special education needs, as contemplated by the South African Schools Act, must comply with all directions, guidelines and circulars regarding the reopening of schools.
(b) In addition to paragraph (a), all public schools, including public schools for learners with special education needs, as contemplated by the South African Schools Act, must comply with the guidelines developed for the specific categories of learners, as contained in the DBE Standard Operating Procedures.
(2) Officials who are unable to practise social distancing from learners with special education needs must be provided by the Provincial Department of Education with appropriate personal protective equipment, including protective clothing, where such provision is necessary.
(3) Officials appointed to carry out symptom screening, in schools for deaf learners, must be able to communicate using South African Sign Language. Where this is not possible, a sign language interpreter must be available to ensure proper communication with the learners.
(4) Written communication for blind learners, as well as those who are Deaf-blind, must be through Braille.
(5) The Provincial Department of Education must, at a minimum, provide the following personal protective equipment to learners with visual and hearing impairments:
(a) Face shields, in the case of blind learners;
(b) cloth face masks, in the case of low vision learners, teachers and support staff; and
(c) face shields, in the case of teachers, support staff and learners in schools for the deaf.
(6) Where a learner with special education needs does not return to school for any of the reasons referred to in direction 5(11)—
(a) the Head of Department must make all reasonable efforts to ensure—
(i) the availability and distribution of teaching and learning material in appropriate modes and access to remote support from teachers;
(ii) the provision for loan of education-specific assistive devices for use at home, where necessary; and
(iii) the provision of and access to therapeutic services where necessary; and
(b) a parent, caregiver or a designated family member of such learner must—
(i) on a form substantially similar to Annexure A1, apply, as contemplated in direction 6(2)(b), for full or partial exemption of the learner from compulsory school attendance;
(ii) specifically request support for teaching and learning material, assistive devices or therapeutic services, as contemplated in paragraph (a); and
(iii) ensure that any teaching and learning material and assistive devices, as contemplated in paragraph (a), are collected or accessed and returned as per arrangement with the school.

10. Opening of hostels

(1) A hostel may be permitted to open: Provided that it complies with the minimum health, safety and social distancing measures and requirements on COVID-19, referred to in section 5 of the DBE Standard Operating Procedures and the DBE Guidelines and, in the case of a public school, also has all the COVID-19 essentials in place and the principal or chairperson of the governing body or school board or their delegated official notifies the Head of Department, on a form substantially similar to Annexure B, of the opening.
(2) The notification contemplated in sub-direction (1) must be accompanied by a signed declaration by the principal and chairperson of the governing body or school board or their delegated official—
(a) on a form substantially similar to Annexure B1, in the case of public schools; or
(b) on a form substantially similar to Annexure B2, in the case of independent schools, confirming that the hostel complies with the minimum health, safety and social distancing measures and requirements on COVID-19, referred to in section 5 of the DBE Standard Operating Procedures and the DBE Guidelines and, in the case of a public school, has all the COVID-19 essentials in place.
(3) Hostels may open once the notification and declaration, as contemplated in subdirections (1) and (2), have been submitted to the Head of Department: Provided that the Provincial Department of Education reserves the right to conduct an inspection, once the hostels have opened to verify the hostel’s compliance with the measures and requirements, as confirmed in terms of sub-direction (2).
(4) Subject to sub-direction (5), if a hostel is found not to have complied with the measures and requirements, as confirmed in terms of sub-direction (2)—
(a) the hostel will be closed until such time as the hostel complies with these measures and requirements;
(b) no learners will be allowed on the premises of the hostel; and
(c) the principal or chairperson of the governing body or school board or their delegated official must, as soon as reasonably possible—
(i) notify the parents, caregiver or designated family member of the learners, in writing, of the reason for the closure of the hostel;
(ii) request the parents, caregiver or designated family member of the learners to fetch the learners from the hostel; and
(iii) make arrangements with the parents, caregiver or designated family member of the learners to ensure the provision of learning material and continued teaching to learners.
(5) (a) In order to provide for the necessary suitable accommodation needs of learners, including learners with special education needs, if a hostel exceeds the number of learners that it can accommodate in accordance with social distancing requirements, the hostel will not be required to close in its entirety: Provided that the school or hostel makes provision for alternatives, including those contemplated in direction 16(2), in order to ensure that the accommodation of learners in hostels complies with health, safety and social distancing requirements.
(b) Where a hostel cannot provide alternatives, as contemplated in paragraph (a), the Provincial Department of Education must assist in the provision of additional infrastructure capacity to provide for the accommodation needs of such learners, including alternative accommodation for a hostel.
(6) The principal or chairperson of the governing body or school board or their delegated official may appeal to the MEC responsible for education in the province, in writing, within seven days from the date of notification of a decision, in terms of sub-direction (4), to close the hostel.
(7) The MEC responsible for education must, within seven days of receipt of an appeal, as contemplated in sub-direction (6), inform the hostel, in writing, of his or her decision and the reasons for the decision.
(8) The Provincial Department of Education must assist in the provision of any additional human resource capacity that is reasonably necessary for the operation of hostels.
(9) This direction applies to the hostels of all public schools, including public schools for learners with special education needs, as contemplated by the South African Schools Act.

11. Sport and extracurricular activities

(1) Subject to sub-directions (2), (4) and (5), and in compliance with social distancing, hygiene and safety measures on COVID-19, as contemplated in these directions, the DBE Standard Operating Procedures and the Regulations, the following activities may resume with spectators:
(a) Contact sport, non-contact sport, including training, intra-school and inter-school matches, and all arts and culture intra-school and interschool activities;
(b) co-curricular and enrichment programmes, such as oral history, spelling bee, moot court, speech contests, debates and school clubs, may resume activities including competitive inter-school events and engagements; and
(c) choir practice or rehearsals and choir competitions.
(2) The following health and safety measures must be adhered to when resuming events or activities contemplated in this direction:
(a) Face masks must be worn by all persons entering the venues where the activities take place, change rooms or training areas, except when participating in training or matches accompanied by vigorous exercise;
(b) there must be sufficient quantities of hand sanitizers, with at least 70% alcohol content, available for use by all officials, coaches, assistants, learners and participants;
(c) there must be facilities for washing of hands with soap and water;
(d) all windows and doors must remain open to ensure adequate ventilation;
(e) subject to the requirements of any contact activity, social distancing must be maintained at all times;
(f) the sharing of drinks and drink containers is not allowed;
(g) a COVID-19 compliance officer must be appointed for each venue;
(h) each of the entry points at the venue must be controlled to ensure that the stipulations with regards to gatherings, as contemplated in subdirection (2)(i) to (n) and (q), are complied with;
(i) all participants must undergo health and temperature screening before warm-up or an event;
(j) any person who enters the venue must undergo health and temperature screening;
(k) hand sanitisers must be available at the entrance gate and every person who enters the venue must sanitise their hands;
(l) participants and officials must sanitise their hands before and after a match or event;
(m) a person who leaves the venue temporarily and returns, must undergo the process of health and temperature screening, and hand sanitising;
(n) for contact tracing purposes only, a register of all officials, learners and spectators from visiting and hosting schools who are attending a school match or event must be kept by the hosting school for at least 21 days and must contain the following information of officials, learners and spectators:
(i) Full name and surname;
(ii) residential address;
(iii) cell phone number, telephone number or email address; and
(iv) contact details of the person or persons living in the same residence as the person attending training or a school match or event;
(o) a digital registration and health screening platform, such as the Teacher Connect Application, may also be used to assist with the administration of the registration process contemplated in paragraph (n);
(p) if a person has COVID-19 symptoms or presents with a temperature above 38 degrees Celsius, that person must be refused access into the venue;
(q) spectators at the venue of a sports event, are permitted under Adjusted Alert Level 1 and the number of persons, including participants, referees, adjudicators, technical officials, volunteers, medical team, sponsors, media or broadcasting team, stadium workers, and spectators permitted at a venue at any one time is limited to—
(i) 750 persons or less for indoor venues; and
(ii) 2000 persons or less for outdoor venues, and, if the venue is too small to hold the prescribed number of persons observing a distance of at least one and a half meters from each other, then not more than 50 percent of the capacity of the venue may be used, subject to strict adherence to all health protocols and social distancing measures;
(r) teams, technical officials, volunteers, relevant stadium staff, medical staff and registered members of the media or broadcaster team must leave the venue as soon as their responsibilities are completed;
(s) social distancing and the wearing of face masks must always be maintained by persons who are not participating in matches or events;
(t) participants must always wear face masks, except when participating in an event that involves vigorous exercise;
(u) technical officials must report before the start of any event or competition for a COVID-19 regulations and protocol briefing session and screening;
(v) all ablution facilities must be sanitised regularly and kept clean as per COVID-19 protocols; and
(w) all sport equipment must be sanitised before and after use.
(3) The principal of a school, or an organiser of a venue, hosting an event or activity contemplated in this direction, who fails to comply with sub-direction (2)(q) and the Regulations, commits an offence and is, on conviction, liable to a fine or imprisonment as contemplated in regulation 69(12) of the Regulations.
(4) Subject to compliance with the Regulations for Safety Measures in Public Schools, as published under Government Notice No. 1040 in Government Gazette No. 22754 of 12 October 2001, any travelling required for participation in any of the events or activities contemplated in this direction may resume and must comply with prescribed transport regulations and directions.
(5) The school or venue hosting the events or activities contemplated in this direction must ensure that venues, tools and equipment are cleaned and sanitized before and after any activities.
(6) In order to ensure compliance with sub-direction (2)(q), schools may prioritise parents, caregivers or designated family members of participating learners to attend an event.

12. Issuing of permits

(1) Officials who have to commute to and from work within the declared curfew hours must have a permit on a form that is substantially similar to Form 7 of Annexure A, attached to the Regulations.
(2) A permit referred to in sub-direction (1) may be issued by the Head of Department or a delegated official or, in the case of a school, by a principal or a person delegated by him or her.

13. General safety measures at schools, hostels and offices for duration of COVID-19 pandemic

(1) The Provincial Department of Education is responsible for the provisioning of personal protective equipment and other COVID-19 essentials for officials and learners in public schools and hostels.
(2) To ensure the sufficient supply of cloth face masks, in compliance with regulation 34(3)(c) of the Regulations and face shields for learners with special educational needs, the principal of a public school, must request the Provincial Department of Education, in writing, through the district office, to procure cloth face masks and face shields as required by a public school.
(3) The District Director must process the request by the principal within three days of receipt thereof and forward it to the Provincial Department of Education, without delay.
(4) The Provincial Department of Education must ensure that the procurement of cloth face masks is finalised and that the cloth face masks are delivered to public schools timeously.
(5) All schools and offices must develop a workplace plan containing the following information:
(a) Which employees are permitted to work;
(b) what plans are in place for the employees at the workplace;
(c) what health protocols are in place to protect employees from COVID-19; and
(d) the details of the COVID-19 compliance officer.
(6) A school must send out a notice to all parents informing them that they must not send learners to school if the learners have any of the observable symptoms associated with COVID-19, including fever, cough, sore throat, redness of eyes and shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing, body aches, loss of smell or loss of taste, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, fatigue or weakness, or has been in direct contact with a person who is suspected to have COVID-19.
(7) Every school, hostel and office must implement the health and safety measures as contained in these Directions, section 5 of the DBE Standard Operating Procedures and the DBE Guidelines.

14. Symptom screening

(1) All persons entering any school premises, hostel or office must be screened at the entrance.
(2) Screening must be conducted—
(a) by the persons who have either been identified by the school or by the Head of Department; and
(b) in accordance with the Department of Health Protocols and section 5 of the DBE Standard Operating Procedures and the DBE Guidelines.
(3) All persons who conduct screening must receive the relevant training.
(4) Any person who has any COVID-19 symptoms must immediately report such symptoms to the COVID-19 compliance officer of the school, hostel or office or any person designated by him or her.
(5) If a person presents with the symptoms referred to in direction 13(6), or informs the COVID-19 compliance officer or designated official of these symptoms, the school, hostel or office must—
(a) not permit the person to enter the premises; or
(b) if the person is already on the premises of a school, hostel or office—
(i) immediately isolate the person, and require that person or, in the case of a learner, advise the parent or guardian, to make arrangements to be transported in a manner that does not place any other person or members of the public at risk, either to be self-isolated or to go for a medical examination or testing;
(ii) assess the risk of transmission, disinfect the area and any official’s or learner’s workstation or sleeping quarters, in the case of a hostel;
(iii) refer those persons who may be at risk for screening; and
(iv) take any other appropriate measure to prevent possible transmission.
(6) If there is evidence that any official contracted COVID-19 as a result of occupational exposure, the school must lodge a claim for compensation in terms of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, 1993 (Act No. 130 of 1993) in accordance with the Notice on Compensation for Occupationally-acquired Novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19), published under Government Notice No. 193, in Government Gazette No. 43126 of 23 March 2020, if applicable.
(7) If any person has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and isolated in accordance with the Department of Health Guidelines, a school, hostel or office may only allow the return of such person to the school, hostel or office on condition that he or she has undergone a medical assessment confirming his or her fitness to return.
(8) The Minister, in consultation with the Minister of Health, will regularly review the DBE Standard Operating Procedures and DBE Guidelines to ensure that health, safety and social distancing measures are consistent with the current and best practices.

15. Sanitizers, disinfectants and masks

(1) For the purposes of these Directions, a hand sanitizer must be one that contains at least 70% alcohol and complies with the recommendations of the Department of Health.
(2) Every school, hostel and office must ensure that there are—
(a) easily accessible, sufficient quantities of hand sanitizers, based on the number of learners, educators or officials or other persons who access the school, hostel or office, at the entrance of, and in, the workplace or sleeping quarters, which the persons are required to use; and
(b) facilities for washing of hands with soap and clean water.
(3) Every school, hostel and office must take proper measures to ensure that—
(a) all work surfaces and equipment are cleaned before school or work begins, or after school or work ends;
(b) classrooms, sleeping quarters and water and sanitation facilities are cleaned at least once a day by appointed cleaners; and
(c) surfaces that are touched frequently by many people (railings, light switches, communal taps, braille signage, lunch tables, sports equipment, door and window handles, toys, teaching and learning aids, etc.) are cleaned more frequently.
(4) Every Provincial Department of Education must—
(a) provide each official and learner at public schools, with two cloth face masks or face shields; and
(b) require learners and any other person entering the school premises, hostel or office to wear a cloth face mask, a homemade item that covers the nose and mouth or another appropriate item to cover the nose and mouth.

16. Social distancing and timetable models

(1) Every school, hostel or office must comply with the social distancing requirements as prescribed in the Regulations, DBE Standard Operating Procedures and DBE Guidelines.
(2) Subject to sub-direction (1), schools may consider and apply any of following available timetable models suitable for their context and functionality:
(a) Daily and weekly rotation;
(b) bi-weekly rotation;
(c) platooning or shifts;
(d) traditional and daily attendance; or
(e) a hybrid of the latter.
(3) Schools with large enough facilities to comply with health, safety, and social distancing requirements do not have to change their traditional and daily timetable models, and may continue to operate in accordance with those timetable models.
(4) A school that has a large enough facility may accommodate more than 50 learners, officials and parents in that facility at a time, strictly for educational purposes: Provided that all health, safety and social distancing measures for COVID-19 are complied with.

17. Curriculum trimming and reorganisation

(1) In order to accommodate the teaching time lost as a result of the national state of disaster and the adjustment of timetables, the curriculum, as articulated in the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement, has been reviewed by the Minister in accordance with section 3(4)(l) of the National Education Policy Act, 1996 (Act No. 27 of 1996), which empowers the Minister to determine national policy for curriculum frameworks, core syllabuses and education programmes.
(2) The curriculum recovery guidelines aimed at supporting the management of the learning losses and the catch-up programmes at school level, include Circular S13 of 2020, which released the curriculum recovery 2021 Annual Teaching Plans (ATPs) for Grades 1-12, and PowerPoint presentations per subject, per grade for mediation of the recovery ATPs in all subjects and grades are accessible on the website of the Department of Basic Education, through the following link: https://www.education.gov.za/2021ATPs.aspx.

Home schooling

Learner Support Programmes

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) together with provinces has prepared online and broadcast support resources comprising subject content and a focus on Grade 12 learners and the promotion of reading for all the grades.

The department is working closely with key Partners to coordinate and make available content tailored to support our learners’ educational and health needs during this time.

The DBE website has been updated with current and relevant content inclusive of reading resources and websites. Other content which is available on websites of our partners has also been made available through links on the DBE website on www.education.gov.za.

Basic Education and SABC launch Coronavirus COVID-19 TV and radio curriculum support programmes for learners

The Department of Basic Education and SABC have launched a multi-media learner support initiative under the banner: COVID-19 Learner Support aimed at limiting the impact of the lockdown to the school calendar.

The programme is scheduled to start on 9 April 2020 and will broadcast across three SABC TV Channels and 13 Radio stations with online support.

The TV Schedule is as follows:

SABC 1: Mon - Sun 05h00 - 06h00               
SABC 2: Mon - Fri and 09h30 -11h00
SABC 3: Mon - Fri 06h00 - 07h00

The FREE STEM Lockdown Digital School has expanded into community television in order to reach an even bigger audience. Starting, 21 April 2020, the COVID-19 learner support programme will be available on two DSTV channels; 1KZN (261) and Soweto TV (251) to increase access. The school is supporting learners who are learning from home because of the coronavirus which resulted in the lockdown which started on March 26. 

The radio slots
https://www.gov.za/sites/default/files/gcis_documents/radio.pdf

May/June exam rewrites

The 2021 May / June examination is the second examination opportunity that is offered to candidates who wrote the November 2020 examinations and is also an examination for adult candidates sitting for matric examinations.  The writing of this examination commenced on Wednesday, 26 May 2021, and concluded on Wednesday, 07 July 2021.

Western Cape Education Department 

The WCED’s ePortal has been updated for home learning. We encourage parents and learners to visit this site: https://wcedeportal.co.za/

There are also a variety of examination papers for various grades available on our website for download: https://wcedonline.westerncape.gov.za/exam-papers.

     

    Universities and further education institutions

    Statement by Minister Blade Nzimande on plans for the post school education and training institutions on the Coronavirus COVID-19 adjusted level 4 lockdown with effect from 28 June 2021, 30 June 2021

    Statement by Minister Blade Nzimande on the Covid 19 vaccination roll out plan for the post school education and training sector, 23 July 2021 

    Return to Residences

    Within the national guidelines to be published by the Department, plans for the return of students to residences will be determined at institutional level, in line with numbers that can be accommodated to enable physical distancing, the handling of communal spaces, hygiene requirements and dining hall arrangements.

    Students identified to reintegrate into campuses may include specific groups of students who are living with disabilities, who are not able to access connectivity where they live, or are living in circumstances where studying is difficult. In terms of the phase-in plans, the maximum % per residence identified for the level (Level 3 - 33%; Level 2 - 66%) must be adhered to and all health and safety protocols must be in place. Students who live in private rented accommodation close to campuses may also return provided physical distancing arrangements are in place.

    TVET colleges

    For TVET Colleges, a tentative academic calendar has been drawn up pending any new announcements on the different levels of the lockdown by the President. In terms of the tentative calendar the following return dates apply:

    NATED Trimester (Natural Science) students

    • All programmes: 20 May - 22 July
    • N5 & N2: 15 June
    • N4 & N1: 22 June

    NATED Semester (BUSINESS STUDIES) students

    • N6: 14 July - 17 September
    • N5: 29 June 14 July - 17 September
    • N4: 06 July 14 July - 17 September

    NC(V) students

    • Level 4:   8 July - 17 September
    • Level 3:  8 July 8 July - 17 September
    • Level 2:   8 July 8 July - 17 September
       

    A campus-based approach will be applied where colleges are affected by different lockdown levels. 

    Several colleges have already developed learning materials both for TV and radio broadcasts which are shared through the DHET website. These initiatives will continue beyond the return of students to campuses.  Furthermore, all students who will not have returned to campuses in June and July will also be supported remotely until they return to campus according to the phase-in process.

    Colleges are using textbooks, e-Guides, past question papers, and uploaded YouTube videos to assist students. These are supported through bulk text messages from colleges and WhatsApp groups set up by lecturers.

    2021 academic year

    The vaccination of PSET staff  of 35 years of age and above

    Higher Health has made provisions with each site fully dedicated to vaccinate about 300 to 1000 people per day per site.

    Higher Health will be supporting the sites on the days of vaccination. 

    Higher Health with the Department of Health and service providers will further open twelve (12) additional sites across Johannesburg, Tshwane, Cape Town, Gqeberha and eThekwini starting from Monday, 26 July.

    This will cover over 120 000 staff from universities, TVETs and CET colleges in the next 2-3 weeks.

    These same sites will be extended to private institutions, skills learning sector, Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs), Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO), National Skills Fund (NSF) with a range of skills development providers.

    Learner Support

    A process is underway to upload previous examination papers for students to work through in preparation for examinations. Colleges will be informed on how students can access these examination question papers.

    NSFAS COVID-19 contingency plan and disbursements

    Qualifying TVET students Students are urged to create myNSFAS portal account to receive their allowances.

    All NSFAS funded and registered students will receive their allowances accordingly.

    Resources

    Covid-19 Curriculum Support Programme for Grade 12 Learners on radio

    Advice to parents