Lesufi says schools won’t open if teachers don’t have PPEs

Grade 7 and grade 12 students are preparing to return back to school on 1 June.

Panyaza Lesufi
Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi. Photo by Gallo Images / Thapelo Maphakela

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi on Thursday said schools must ensure that all safety measures are in place before they reopen.

Lesufi gave an update on the province’s state of readiness ahead of the reopening of schools next month. He said that schools would be assessed by districts and issued with a certificate of compliance before they could be allowed to resume teaching and learning.

Grade 7 and grade 12 students are preparing to return back to school on 1 June, after a two-month break brought on by the lockdown.

Lesufi said that the province was on track to resume with the 2020 academic calendar in accordance with strict health and safety guidelines.

“The PPEs must arrive first before the next thing can happen. So, no PPEs, no opening of schools,” Lesufi said.

“We don’t want to risk [children’s health and safety] as we said, it’s safety first,” he added.

He said his department was in the process of recruiting young people who would be working to assist the department to enforce health protocols at schools across the province.

“We’ve also went for a recruitment of what we call COVID-19 Youth Brigades. These are young people that will ensure that in schools there is social distancing and learners are not touching each other. They will also assist with screening and providing the overall support,” he said.

The MEC said added to the department’s measures, there would be social distancing marks placed around school premises and playing fields would be cordoned off.

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