FS Education welcomes 30 000 matrics back to class

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA – OCTOBER 22: Matrics at Elodoraigne High School start their matric exams with an English paper on October 22, 2012 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images / Foto24 / Theana Breugem)
The Free State Education Department estimates that roughly 30 000 grade 12 learners have made their return to schools across the province, reports OFM News.

In a tweet posted under the MEC of Education in the province Tate Makgoe’s official handle, the department reveals all the necessary protocols have been undertaken to ready schools for learning and teaching to resume.

The Provincial Education Department is yet to provide the latest update on the attendance of teachers and learners on Monday. Over a week ago, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the temporary closure of schools in light of the high community transmission of the Coronavirus at that stage.

Makgoe is a casualty of the high community transmission having had been announced as Covid-19 positive last week. Most recently the Free State Health Department attributed the recent jump in the province’s death toll over a single day – at 91 – and overall case load which has overtaken the North West in the main to the reopening of schools and mines in the Fezile Dabi and Lejweleputswa districts. Over the coming weeks more learners will also make their return to school.

South Africa continues to report the fifth highest Coronavirus numbers with over 500 000 overall confirmed cases. About 8 366 people have lost their lives to Covid-19 health complications countrywide.

OFM News recently reported that Education called upon local communities and parents of the close to 700 000 beneficiaries of the country’s school feeding programme to fetch their meals irrespective of them not attending school with the matrics today.

It was revealed during the tabling of Education’s budget, in Makgoe’s absence more than a week ago, that over R431 000 has been allocated for the sole purpose of keeping the feeding programme going.

Department of Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (DESTEA) MEC, Makalo Mohale, who delivered the speech on behalf of Makgoe, said that all essentials meant to ensure that schools are compliant with Covid-19 regulations when carrying out the programme in the from of sanitisers, masks and protective equipment, have been provided to schools to be utilised by Voluntary Food Handlers (VFHs) when preparing meals for the learners.

The department has further “appointed 3 446 VFHs for 10 months and they would receive a stipend of R1 360 per person, per month, with effect from 01 June 2020 to 31 March 2021,” says Mohale.

Olebogeng Motse