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Western Cape education dept ready to kick off academic year as planned


The Western Cape Department of Education said plans were in place to ensure schools could welcome learners back.

Schools are scheduled to reopen on the 27 January.

The previous year has undoubtedly been tumultuous for both learners and teaching staff as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hundreds of teachers across the nation have succumbed to the dreaded virus.

The department’s Bronagh Hammond said by the end of last year, 56 of them died in that province.

“So far, we’ve had 56 deaths, nine non-teaching staff, and eight office-based staff. That’s 73 in total.”

To address vacant teaching posts, she said schools could rely on substitute teachers and those teaching assistants would also help.

As for whether schools are prepared for the 2021 school year, Hammond said health and safety protocols would remain in place and that a lot depended on what regulations could be announced when the president addresses the nation again.

“The biggest problem for schools is the temporary revised education plan; that’s where you decide how many learners you have in a school, how to maintain safety while maintaining teaching and learning.”

She adds managing admissions under these circumstances will also pose a challenge.

-EWN

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