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Offering of Grade 11 and 12 learner support programmes during the winter vaccination period

Following the Presidential Announcement on the closure of schools due to the Third         Wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government Gazette published on 29 June 2021, promulgated the date for the early closure of schools and the reopening date of 19 July 2021 for Term 3, as well as amendments to previous directions relating to schooling. Subsection 2(c) directs that, “the usual winter vacation learner support or catch-up programmes for Grades 11 and 12, as organised and implemented by the Provincial Departments of Education, districts and schools, will continue under strict compliance with the minimum health, safety and social distancing measures.”  

Ms Cheryl Weston, Director for FET: Curriculum, reported that, “winter support programmes for Grades 11 and 12 will continue with strict adherence to COVID-19 measures and protocols. Residential camps are discouraged given the potential of these camps to become super spreader events. Residential camps should only be hosted if the bubble concept is followed. This entails the testing of all learners and staff prior to admission to the camp. Those who test negative should be allowed, and there should be no subsequent “in and out” movement in these camps. Walk in winter support programmes where learners attend on a daily basis are       encouraged, with strict compliance with the health, safety and social distancing measures on COVID-19”. 

In addition, she reiterated that, “all winter support classes must adhere strictly to the non-pharmaceutical   interventions: daily screening before the classes for both learners and teachers; regular hand washing or sanitisation; regular cleaning and sanitisation of frequently touched surfaces; social distancing; compulsory wearing of face masks, covering both the mouth and nose; and learners and staff who display symptoms must not be granted entry to the venue”.

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