FS ready for school re-opening, despite challenges

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The Free State Department of Education has confirmed its readiness for the 2022 academic year.

The spokesperson, Howard Ndaba, told OFM News that the department has implemented all necessary precautionary measures to ensure a smooth start to the school year. He says they have provided schools with personal protective equipment (PPE). Ndaba says all schools have formed health school safety committees to ensure learners and teachers are safe in schools and to ensure all Covid-19 protocols are followed.

“Learner support material have been distributed to schools. On Wednesday the Free State’s MEC of Education, Tate Makgoe, will visit three schools in Mangaung. One of which is the Albert Moroka Secondary School. You’ll recall that last year that school was damaged by storms so the MEC will look at the school and address the way forward. We can safely say we are ready to commence with our academic programme for this year,” Ndaba says.

Meanwhile, during a media briefing regarding the reopening of the 2022 academic year on Tuesday morning, the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, said the department has plans to implement vaccinations at schools, but first need to consider the necessary implications before implementing this. She further adds that when a learner wants to get vaccinated, it is between the learner, the learner’s parents, and the Health Department.

“The fact of the matter is that Covid-19 is still very much with us and we need to continue to work together to fight it. We are exploring possibilities to return schooling to normal, but we need to do so responsibly; and to this end, we rely entirely on the advice of public health experts, through the Ministerial Advisory Committee, the National Coronavirus Command Council, and indeed, Cabinet,” she said.

There was a decline in the number of schools closing due to Covid-19 last year. The same can be expected this year as the Department will continue to implement recovery programmes.

OFM News/Blaine Jones