The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has announced that it plans for schools to reopen on 4 May.

Teachers are set to arrive on 4 May, while Grade 12 and Grade 7 learners will arrive back at school on 6 May.

DBE Director-General Hubert Mathanzima Mweli said the department’s plans, which it outlined in a video call, will be presented to parliament today for approval.
Other learners are proposed to be phased in as follows:
  • Grade 6 and Grade 11 – 20 May
  • Grade 5 and Grade 10 – 3 June
  • Grade 4 and Grade 9 – 17 June
  • Grade 3 and Grade 8 – 1 July
  • Grade 1 and Grade 2 – 8 July
  • Grade R – 15 July
The exam schedule is proposed to be amended as follows:
  • The May/June Exams for the National Senior Certificate (Grade 12) will be combined with the October/November Exams and rescheduled for November/December.
  • Marking of examination scripts will run up to the end of December 2020.
  • Moderation, standardisation, and release of the results will be moved to mid/end of January 2021.
  • School Based Assessment will have to be calculated without the May/June exams.
  • Grade 12s will still write preparatory examinations in September.
  • The November/December examination time table will have to be amended accordingly.

School calendar and rules

The new school calendar for learners is proposed to be as follows:
  • Term 2 – 6 May to 26 July
  • Term 3 –  3 August to 23 September
  • Term 4 –  28 September to 9 December

The Department of Education has also outlined a variety of rules and guidelines that it plans on implementing at schools to curb the spread of COVID-19.
These include:
  1. Physical distances in classrooms of not more than two learners sharing desks.
  2. No hugging, handshaking, and direct contact.
  3. Cloth masks to be worn by learners and teachers at all times.
  4. No mass public events – including sports matches, choral practices, and festivals.
  5. Extra classes should be arranged in small groups that maintain social distancing.
  6. Classrooms to be sanitised before each school day.
  7. Hands to be sanitised upon entering of the classroom.
  8. Limiting of movement of learners between classes.
  9. No clustering of desks in classrooms.
  10. Transport will be sanitised before each trip, while the hands of learners will also be sanitised before entry. Distance management must take place between learners in buses.