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‘Incremental’ lifting of lockdown

New regulations as South Africa prepares for ‘incremental’ lifting of lockdown

16 April 2020

Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, has announced revised regulations for South Africa’s lockdown. In a media briefing on Thursday (16 April), Dlamini-Zuma said that the lockdown will be lifted in an incremental manner and that restrictions will remain in place even once the lockdown is lifted. “Because we are going to be opening the lockdown in an orderly matter, we will be naming the areas which will opened from the lockdown,” said Dlamini-Zuma. “The lockdown cannot be stopped abruptly.”

Because of this, Dlamini-Zuma said the new regulations are mainly an ‘addition’ to the current regulations which were first introduced before the lockdown was extended.

Some of the new changes include:

 

  • The transportation of essential goods are permitted from warehousing sites to essential service providers with the exception of the transportation of liquor;

 

  • Plumbers and electricians will be allowed to visit homes to fix broken utilities;

 

  • ICT professionals are now considered essential workers where they assist essential services using technology;

 

 

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Fake news alert

Fake news alert: Schools not closed until 2021 due to COVID-19

Despite many calls to stop the spread of fake news during the coronavirus pandemic, it is still continuing at an alarming rate.

by Andrea Chothia 2020-03-25 16:47 in Offbeat

Fake news is something we just can’t seem to get rid of, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. Despite numerous calls by President Cyril Ramaphosa and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize for the spread of fake news to desist — it doesn’t seem to be letting up. In the latest spurt of fake news, a false statement, from the “Pretoria Marking Centre” has been making its rounds. The “statement” was sent out to the media on Wednesday 25 March by Gauteng Education spokesperson Steve Mabona — where he warned that it was fake news. 

Here’s what the fake news statement says  

The “statement” says that schools will not reopen on 14 April, as stipulated, due to the rapid increase of coronavirus. It then goes on to say that the “department” will be informing schools that the opening date might be pushed back to 10 September — which is a Thursday — and quite an odd day for schools to reopen. That’s not all — it also said that schools may only resume in 2021. “If cases in South Africa do not decrease, schools will resume again in 2021 and all students will repeat the same class they started this year.” Mabona took to writing the word “fake” over it to alert the media. 

 

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Covid 19

COVID-19: Could the school year be lost for SA pupils?
ii

Schools were closed across the country last Wednesday with government tentatively announcing they would re-open after Easter.
FILE: In accordance with the pronouncement by the President on 15 March 2020, schools will be closed from 18 March 2020. Picture: Supplied.  
Kgomotso Modise | 17 days ago

JOHANNESBURG – South African parents are on Monday being warned that the COVID-19 pandemic could result in the complete loss of the 2020 academic 
year.
Schools were closed across the country last Wednesday with government tentatively announcing they would re-open after Easter.
However, with 274 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the country already, that may not be the case anymore.
Educational specialist Mary Metcalfe said: “I don’t want to cause panic. I think the school year will be lost, but we do need to understand that 
our curriculum is very tight, very carefully structured and that weeks and months of concepts not learned will have implications for subsequent 
learning.”

She said this may have an effect on teaching methods.
“If the school year is lost, what does that mean for the work of teachers in assisting learners to catch up on what should have been learned and 
understood this year so that we can still proceed towards our external assessments.”
Below is an extract from the statement by the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, at the media briefing last week:

ON THE CLOSING OF SCHOOLS
In accordance with the pronouncement by the President on 15 March 2020, schools will be closed from 18 March 2020.
As a sector, we have determined that schools should resume on 14 April 2020; unless determined differently. If that happens,we will communicate 
with parents. We are going to lose 10 school days as a result of the school closures.
To compensate for lost days, the June holidays will be cut short by a week. Once opened, schools will be encouraged to extend tuition hours.
It must be noted that this directive affects all schools; public ordinary schools, independent schools and private. The technical aspects of 
these measures will be addressed by the concerned parties. Let’s keep in mind that the President has declared a national disaster which means 
that we are operating under extra ordinary conditions.

RECOVERY PLANS

The CEM meeting agreed on a number of steps that must be taken to ensure that education is not compromised.
Each province, district, circuit and school must have a practical and comprehensive catch-up plan to be implemented. As things stand right now 
and based on expert advice, we should be able to manage coronavirus such that the negative impact on schooling is minimised.
All mass events of more than 100 people scheduled for March and April will be postponed or cancelled with immediate effect. The activities 
include the South African School Choral Eisteddfod (SASCE), all school sports programmes and of course assemblies.
We will intensify the Read to Lead campaign with our partners to ensure that it is used to assist learners and parents alike to get involved 
in literacy initiatives. We urge schools to give learners work they can do at home with the supervision of parents. Schools are encouraged to 
give learners workbooks and worksheets to be used to keep learners active on curriculum-based initiatives.