New lockdown change for South Africa’s schools

 ·22 Oct 2020

Basic Education minister Angie Motshekga has published a new gazette which will allow for the resumption of some sports at South African schools.

The directive states that the following activities are permitted to resume, subject to social distancing, hygiene and safety measures and without spectators:

  • Non-contact sport training;
  • Inter-school non-contact sport matches;
  • Non-contact sport-related activities;
  • Arts and culture school-based activities in schools.

The number of persons in the sporting venues, change rooms or training area, at any given time, must not be more than 50% of the capacity of the venue with persons observing the social distancing requirements.

In addition, schools that compete in inter-school format must adhere to the limitation of:

  • 250 persons or fewer, in the case of an indoor activity; and
  • 500 or fewer, in the case of an outdoor activity;
  • Provided that no more than 50% of the capacity of the venue is used with persons observing the social distancing requirements.

Other regulations include the wearing of face masks expect when playing, the provision of hand sanitisers and the keeping of a register for all participants.

Social distancing rules in classrooms

The resumption of sports comes after Motshekga said that her department will make further changes to the country’s schools as it continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.

Motshekga told the SABC that key among these changes will be a review of the social distancing rules in classrooms.

The minister indicated that the current ‘rotation system’, where students alternate days at school, meant that too much learning time was being lost.

Instead, her department is looking at other measures, such as body screens, to get more children into classrooms safely.

“We are looking also at other measures. Other big schools for instance are using body screens not distancing because physical distancing is very expensive for us because it means we have to cut classes in half,” she said.

Motshekga said that schools had to cut out some parts of the curriculum because of the reduced contact time.

To make up for the teaching time lost to the coronavirus lockdown, the department has already trimmed the curriculum nationally. Parts of the 2020 curriculum will be carried over into 2021.

Read: 3 new lockdown changes for South Africa

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