The basic education department has gazetted new regulations ahead of the return of full-time classes on Monday (2 August).
While all government schools reopened on 26 July as part of the country’s move to an adjusted level 3 lockdown, the basic education department also instructed primary schools (Grades R – 7) to prepare for the return of full-time teaching.
The gazette states that primary schools must return to the traditional and daily attendance timetabling model from 2 August 2021, provided that a ‘risk-adjusted differentiated strategy’ is followed.
“A risk-adjusted differentiated strategy means an approach to school attendance that is determined by the level of reported Covid-19 infections in the school, and Covid-19 infections in the district, municipality, and country,” it said.
The department has also reduced the social distancing measure in primary schools from 1.5 metres to one metre, to accommodate schools with more students and less space.
All returning students must also ensure strict compliance with social distancing measures and minimum health protocols, which include the wearing of face masks, the washing of hands and the use of hand sanitisers.
Schools that are unable to comply with the directions and cannot resume full-time teaching can apply for an exemption with the department.
Subject to existing Covid-19 regulations, contact sport, non-contact sport, training, matches, and all arts and cultural activities may resume without any spectators at all schools.
The department clarified that includes both inter and intra-school activities.
National, provincial, district championships and tournaments that require learners to travel to other schools or provinces may also resume with strict adherence to prescribed transport regulations and directions.
The following safety measures must be adhered to when resuming the activities:
- The number of persons in venues where the activities take place, change rooms or training areas, at any given time, must not be more than 50% of the capacity of the venue with persons observing the social distancing requirements;
- For outdoor activities, the total number of persons, including participants, officials and other personnel must not exceed 100 and for indoor activities, the number of persons must not exceed 50;
- Face masks must be worn by all persons entering the venues where the activities take place, change rooms or training areas, except when participating in training or matches;
- There must be sufficient quantities of hand sanitisers, with at least 70% alcohol content, available for use by all officials, coaches, assistants, learners and participants;
- There must be facilities for washing of hands with soap and water;
- All windows and doors must remain open, where feasible, to ensure adequate ventilation;
- Social distancing must be maintained at all times;
- The sharing of drinks and drink containers is not allowed;
- The school or venue hosting the events or activities must ensure that venues, tools and equipment are cleaned and sanitized before and after any activities.