Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi, has tasked schools management with the responsibilty of deep cleaning schools in the next eight days ahead of reopening of schools.
In a virtual media briefing on Thursday, the Gauteng provincial government gave an update on the provincial COVID-19 response to contain the spread of the virus as well as measures put in place to prepare schools for reopening.
“The cleaning of schools in our province will be as follows: all the SGBs will receive allocation from head office of more than R15 000 each to start will the cleaning. We have given schools eight days to do the deep cleaning.
They will appoint their local contractors or add to the number of employees that are doing their normal cleaning. Only then they will be able to submit a letter to the district for them to come and observe whether the school is ready and has been cleaned. We will then work with the Department of Health and they will give us a certificate of occupation,” said Lesufi.
The Department of Education’s phased-in approach will see Grade 7 and Grade 12 learners return to school on 1 June. Lesufi said the department will ensure classrooms are ready before learners return to schools.
“We are starting first with the classroom. Is the classrooms ready and for the classroom to be ready it means it needs to have the necessary PPEs [Personal Protective Equipment]. There must be social distancing, every learner must know where they sit and there must be lessons before a lesson starts about the wearing of a mask and there must be learner packages," said Lesufi.
He also said the provincial government is taking a “safety first approach” and parents will be invited to an open day to oversee the schools' readiness.
“The first people to come back will be principals. They will be followed by schools' senior management teams. Immediately after that they will be followed by teachers and then learners will join us on the 1st of June,” said Lesufi.
The Gauteng Department of Education confirmed that only seven of the 331 schools that were vandalized during the lockdown period will get mobile classrooms and other schools will be repaired once more learners return to schools.
“We can assure parents of those seven schools that we have already procured mobile classrooms and schools will work from those areas. For now since we are welcoming Grade 12s and Grade 7s only, we believe that the environment will be good enough for everyone. It's only when we bring other grades that we will start making improvements," said Lesufi.
He added that district officials will monitor compliance of the disaster management regulations.
“Each an very district will be our command centre and they will monitor each and very school then they will provide a report to us that deal with the readiness of each and every school, said Lesufi.