Schools prepare to resume acamedic year

Imperial Primary School deputy principal, Alfonso Smith, standing at the foot-peddled hand sanitiser at their Beacon Valley school.

School staff and teachers are cautiously preparing for pupils’ return to school but there is a luke-warm feeling about reopening schools, with fear of death being on their handsis confusion and concern around when and how this will happen.

Clive Arries, the principal of West End Primary School in Lentegeur, is in contact with the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) every day to ensure they make contributions to ensure pupils’ and teachers’ return happened safely.

“Currently our school has been deep-cleaned and sanitised on a daily basis. Whenever our pupils return, I will ensure that they are sanitised and given masks, that we take their temperatures and practise social distancing,” he said.

Their classes will be split to fit fewer pupils in a class so that there are fewer children in the classes and parents would be encouraged to explain to their children why this was required. 

Parents will also have to disclose any underlying conditions their children have, which may make them vulnerable to or increase their risk of infection. 

Principal of Imperial Primary School in Beacon Valley, Colin Baron, Imperial Primary said the school had an enrolment of about 1 900 pupils, with about 250 of them in Grade 7. 

“Our plan should be refined to such a level that no blood of any pupil or teacher can be claimed to be on the school management team’s hands. 

“It is a logistical nightmare, but schools like ours are resilient, and when we have to, we step up. Our circuit manager, being a former principal, is dynamic and tries his best to support our schools. The WCED is still busy delivering personal protective equipment (PPE),” he said.

Parents who applied for their children to attend Western Cape schools in 2021 earlier this year had expected to hear the outcome of their applications from this weekend.

However, this process was disrupted by the unprecedented school closure due to the Covid-19 global pandemic, resulting in a delay in the finalisation of application outcomes for this year. 

The WCED has therefore revised the dates on which parents can expect to hear the outcome of their applications, said Kerry Mauchline, spokesperson for Education MEC Debbie Schafer.

Parents will receive an outcome of application by SMS or email between Friday June 12 and Monday June 22. Parents must confirm acceptance of the offer by Friday July 3. 

If parents receive an offer of a place after Friday July 3, they need to confirm within three days. Parents will be informed of the outcome by email or by SMS between Friday June 12 and Monday 22 June 22.

If their child has been offered a place at a school in this time, parents will need to confirm their acceptance of this place by Friday July 3. We urge parents to accept their spaces timeously, to assist us in finding spaces for unplaced learners.