ADDRESS BY PRESIDENT CYRIL RAMAPHOSA AT THE 2021 BASIC EDUCATION SECTOR LEKGOTLA

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25 FEBRUARY 2021 Programme Director, Minister of Basic Education, Ms Angie Motshekga, Ministers and Deputy Ministers, MECs, Members of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures, Leaders of various political, trade union and civil society formations, Fellow South Africans, Thank you all for attending this Basic Education Sector Lekgotla. This is an opportunity for us to reflect on the actions we must take now to build a better future for the youth of this country. I wish to begin by congratulating the Class of 2020 for the overall pass rate of 76.2 per cent in the National Senior Certificate examinations. This is an outstanding achievement considering the huge disruption caused to the academic year by the coronavirus pandemic.  We are grateful for the efforts of Minister Angie Motshekga and her team and all the stakeholders and partners in the education fraternity.  Thanks to their resilience, tenacity and persistence, we were able to salvage the academic year. Our educators, like our health professionals, gave of their best this past year. They displayed the utmost professionalism in going to teach despite the risks.  We are deeply saddened by the educators who we have lost to COVID-19. We pay tribute to them and, once again, extend the sympathies of the entire nation…

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BASIC EDUCATION COMMITTEE TO VISIT GAUTENG, KWAZULU-NATAL AND EASTERN CAPE PROVINCES TO ASSESS SCHOOL READINESS FOR 2021 ACADEMIC YEAR

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Parliament, Sunday, 31 January 2021- The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education will over the next week visit Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape Provinces to assess school readiness for the 2021 academic year. “The school readiness visit is even more significant this year considering the impact of Covid-19 on the 2020 academic year and the inherent risks it continues to pose going into the 2021 academic year. It is essential that through our oversight work we ensure that everything is in place to secure a safe return of students and teachers to classrooms,” said Ms Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba, the Chairperson of the committee. The intention of the oversight visits is to assess the readiness by all the stakeholders, from the national Department of Basic Education to the school level to ensure safe reopening of schools for the 2021 Academic Year. As part of its programme, the committee is going to visit certain identified schools in the provinces. In assessing the impact of the adjusted level 3 lockdown regulations on the reopening of schools,…

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BASIC EDUCATION DEPARTMENT INVITES CANDIDATES TO REGISTER FOR 2021 MAY /JUNE EXAMS

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With the 2021 academic set to get firmly underway, the Department of Basic Education wishes to invites candidates to register for the May/June Senior Certificate (SC) National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations that there are scheduled to commence on 5 May 2021. Registration for the supplementary examinations will commence and candidates can register for these examinations online through http://www.eservices.gov.za/ or at their nearest Education District Office. The first ever full May/June Matric examination was held in May 2019 with well over 350 000 registered candidates having registered. This examination grants candidates that registered for the November 2020 examination, but may not have satisfied the requirements for a certificate, a second opportunity to do so. In addition, these examinations are open to candidates who could not sit or finish the examination due to various reasons, including medical reasons, a death in the family, or some other special reason. The May/June Examinations form part of the Departments Second Chance Matric Support Program and learner support material is available through the Second Chance Program and…

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Matrics in Antarctica: Minister Schäfer wishes matrics well as they embark on the adventure of a lifetime

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STATEMENT BY MINISTER DEBBIE SCHÄFER WESTERN CAPE MINISTER OF EDUCATION Date: 27 January 2021 Ayakha Melithafa, from the Centre of Science and Technology (COSAT) in Khayelitsha, is one of five matric students from the class of 2020 who will leave Cape Town today on an all-expenses-paid educational adventure in Antarctica with pioneering explorer Riaan Manser and a team from Stellenbosch University. Having met with Mr Manser during the development of the trip and competition, I am so pleased that a learner from the Western Cape is going to be joining him for this experience. The winners were chosen from more than 3 000 entries from across South Africa. To enter, matrics had to answer the question: “If saving nature and the environment is a world problem – how can YOU help? What can you do in your own hometown that you believe will make a positive impact on the planet and possibly Antarctica?” The winners were announced on 11 January 2021. Ayakha will be joined by Cobus Burger from Hoërskool Duineveld…

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NORTH WEST SCHOOL MANAGEMENT RETURN TO SCHOOL TO START WITH THE 2021 ACADEMIC YEAR

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In preparation to start the 2021 academic year, all School Management Teams (SMTs) across the North West province reported to school on the first day of the reopening of schools as planned by the department. This follows the Minister of Basic Education Department's amended directions regarding the dates for the reopening of schools to provide for the 2021 academic year, and measures to address, prevent and combat the spread of COVID-19 within the department as a whole. The dates for the reopening of schools are as follows: • 25 January 202: Principals, the Senior Management Teams (SMTs) including Education Assistants and General Assistants (Basic Education Initiative) and non – teaching staff. • 01 February 2021: All educators • 15 February 2021: All learners. The North West Department of Education MEC, Mmaphefo Matsemela visited Marikana Secondary and Areaganeng Secondary schools to monitor Covid - 19 compliance and both schools are in Marikana area. MEC Matsemela indicated that their number one priority during the return of teachers and learners to school is health…

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MEC Lesufi dismayed by millions spent on decontamination, disinfection and sanitization of schools

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The Gauteng Education MEC Mr Panyaza Lesufi is taken aback by the report compiled by the HOD and CFO, which reveals that the department spent about 431 274 959, 17 on decontamination, disinfection, deep cleaning and sanitization of schools. Accordingly, the MEC is at an advanced stage in consulting with relevant law enforcement agencies to take up these investigations including requesting the Auditor General to check and verify if there was value for money used. “I wish to reaffirm my commitment to leave no stone unturned on this including holding on those who procured these services accountable” Said MEC Lesufi. For more information, contact the Gauteng Department of Education’s (GDE) Spokesperson, Steve Mabona, on 072 574 3860. Issued by the Gauteng Department of Education For media releases, speeches and news visit the Gauteng Provincial Government's portal at www.gauteng.gov.za

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SCHOOL MANAGEMENT TEAMS AND SUPPORT STAFF EXPECTED BACK IN SCHOOL ON MONDAY, 25 JANUARY

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The Department of Basic Education (DBE) revised 2021 school calendar issued last year indicated that schools would reopen on 25 January 2021 (for teachers) and 27 January 2021 (for learners). The DBE and Provincial Departments of Education are also very concerned about the safety and security of their employees due to the increase in COVID-19 and related cases. On the 22 January 2021, the Minister of Basic Education released Government Notice 18 of 2021 to amend the directions regarding the dates for the reopening of schools, to provide for the 2021 academic year, and for measures to address, prevent and combat the spread of COVID-19 in the country. The Department further released Departmental Circular 01 of 2021 “the return of Educators and Support staff to schools for the 2021 academic year amidst covid-19 pandemic” putting in place measures for the safe return of Educators and all Education personnel to schools in a staggered approach as outlined in the Government Gazette No. 44096 as published and as per the following schedule: •…

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COVID-19 CLAIMS ANOTHER GAUTENG MARKER

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The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) is today mourning the passing of another matric examinations marker. The 56-year old Tourism Senior Marker, who was working at the Florida High School Marking Centre, succumbed to Coronavirus complications this morning – Sunday 24 January 2021 – after being released from her duties on 12 January 2021. “Our deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the late marker who this morning lost her battle with COVID-19,” the Gauteng Education MEC, Mr Panyaza Lesufi said. According to information at our disposal, the late marker had displayed COVID-19 symptoms two weeks ago, and was duly released from the centre so that she could receive necessary medical attention. “Unfortunately, this morning we received news that she had lost her battle with COVID-19. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family at this moment and we will be providing them with all the necessary psycho-social support tomorrow,” MEC Lesufi added. This is the third marker to fall to the Coronavirus in Gauteng since the start of…

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FEEDING OF LEARNERS WHO ARE BENEFICIARIES OF THE NATIONAL SCHOOL NUTRITION PROGRAMME USING FOOD HAMPERS

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    The Limpopo Department of Education has made arrangements for learners who are beneficiaries of the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) to receive food hampers which will cater them while schools remain closed.   This follows the announcement by the Department of Basic Education to delay the reopening of schools by two weeks from 27 January to 15 February 2021. This intervention is also informed by the directives and content of structural interdict by the Gauteng North High Court against the Department of Basic Education to feed qualifying learners, whether attending school or not.   The NSNP will resume on 27 January 2021, with schools directed to get service providers to prepare hampers to the value of R273.00 per learner. The hampers should include all specified menu items, delivered in their original form and packaging. Schools that participate in the nutrition pogramme using the decentralised model will directly procure foodstuff for their learners.   Schools will directly communicate with parents and caregivers on when learners can come and collect hampers.…

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NW EDUCATION IS READY FOR MARKING OF THE GRADE 12 SCRIPTS

The North West Department of Education is ready f or the marking of the Grade 12 scripts planned to officially starts on Wednesday, 06 January 2021. The department has appointed 3326 markers and 174 Control Officers in 17 marking centres across the province. The markers have been appointed based on their three-year track record in teaching Grade 12 learners. The Political Head in the department MEC, Mmaphefo Matsemela visited a marking centre in Rustenburg to monitor compliance for the Covid - 19 regulations. "On behalf of the department l would like to welcome back all officials who sacrificed their holiday period and decided to participate in this important process of marking which is th backbone of our year-end performance. "We want to thank our teachers for their sacrifices in teaching learners last year during the difficult times. I am happy to see that the Covid - 19 regulations are followed to the latter. I want to guarantee everyone that we will never compromise regulations until the end of marking process", said…

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