The Gauteng High Court in Pretoria also ruled that all private pre-schools and early childhood development centres (ECD), grade R and lower, may open with immediate effect if they can do so safely. The case had been brought by trade union Solidarity’s Occupational Guild for Social Workers and their School Support Centre (SCC) against the Department of Social Development regarding the reopening of private nursery schools.
Judge Hans Fabricius declared a decision by the Department of Social Development that private pre-schools remain closed under Level 3 of the coronavirus lockdown unlawful and unconstitutional. He ordered Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu, the first respondent, to pay the costs of all the applicants.
Grades R, 1, 2, 3, 6, 10 and 11 were all set to join the grade 7 and 12 learners back at school. However, the Department of Education backtracked on this decision and announced that only grades R, 6 and 11 would return.
Since the reopening of the schools on Monday, 8 June less than 1% of the teachers were infected by the virus. Only 2 740 teachers, out of the total number of about 440 000 teachers, were infected by the virus. Approximately 0.01% of learners were infected (1 260 learners). The highest number of infections were in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Gauteng.
Joy Pre-School ensured learners are well educated about the rules and regulations to staying safe during this pandemic, by having colourful and well-illustrated posters throughout the classrooms. Skitterblink Cleaning Services (064 799 5367) ensured that all of their classrooms were thoroughly disinfected. The school made sure they also adhere to all strict regulations from Government.
The staff and children of Rinkel-Krinkel were overjoyed to be returning to school. The school ensured they adhere to all the prescribed regulations. The children are screened and sanitised every time before entering the school grounds. There were screens installed between learners at the work tables and all the children have to wear their hats with built-in face shields.
Maranatha Pre-school also ensured they adhere to all of the regulations. The teachers were happy to welcome back the learners. The learners also enjoyed being back at school to learn and play although it is in a very different way.
Elfieland Pre-Primary school has started their reopening with a superhero theme for the fight against Covid-19. The school made learning about the virus fun by making virus themed cookies. They adhere to all of the required regulations.
On Monday, 3 August the following grades are expected to be phased back in: Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 8, Grade 9, School of Skills: Year 1, Schools for Learners with Severe Intellectual Disabilities (‘ SID”): Grades 4 and 5 and Schools with autistic learners: Senior Group (13 years and above).
The dates for the following grades are still to be confirmed: Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3, Grade 10, School of Skills: Years 2 and 3, Schools for Learners with Severe Intellectual Disabilities (“SID”): Grades R, 1, 2, 3 and 6, Special Care Centres for Learners with Severe and Profound Intellectual Disabilities (“LSPID”): Years 1-3 and Schools with autistic learners: Junior Group (below 13 years) and final year (18 years and above).
Good luck to all of the educators and the learners who have returned. Thank you, not just for adhering to all the required safety precautions but, also for all the extra precautions taken to ensure the safety of not only the learners but the staff members as well.