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2020-04-30
Newsletter 283 - DBE "DRAFT" PLAN - COVID 19 - Reopening Schools...


A FEW INITIAL COMMENTS

  • This plan is a huge undertaking
  • The portfolio committee is not confifent that DBE can pull it off
  • Neither does the public think so - very little confidence
  • Reopening dates during preparations by the School Management Team, teachers and then learners needs more time - I will suggest two week before we reopen schools to learners incrementally
  • Under "normal" conditions our school systems are stretched to the limit - in most cases failing us...for covid 19 it is ill prepared
    • Training of staff?
    • Appointing new staff?
    • Outfitting schools with safety equipment?
    • Bringing water supplies?
  • Competing with hospitals for safety equipment...
  • Compliance with strict lockdown rules in schools seems near impossible
  • Academic support from District Offices have during "normal" failed us...for Covid 19 they are ill prepared
  • Unions have under "normal" failed their member...for Covid 19 they are ill prepared
  • The "normal" academic year 2020 has been AND will continue to be gravely wounded...we can always try to resuscitate thereby keeping hope alive..."but the body is dying!"
    • saying otherwise is "lying"

"Let's at least then keep hope alive"

SOME INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE

 

Taiwanclosedschoolsonlyfortwoweeks,andresumedafterthat.Introducedstrictsocialdistancingmeasures.Temperaturescreeninginthemorning,compulsoryfacemasksandregularhandwashingandplasticdividersondesks.

Chinaclosedallschoolsbetween20Januaryand6February2020.Returneddifferentgradesinphaseswithgrades9and12first.Compulsoryclothmasksandtemperaturescreening.Handsanitizersavailable.

DenmarkopenedECDcentresandprimaryschoolstoGrade5.Nofacemaskrequirement.Butseparatedesksto1m.Regularhandwashingandhandsanitizersavailable.Cordonofftheplaygroundtolimitinteraction.Andlimitplaygroups.Staggerbreaktimes.Verylimiteduptakethoughasmostparentsrefusetosendchildrentoschool.Onlyintoitssecondweekthough.

Singaporedidnotcloseschools.Havehadarecentspikeinnewinfections.Announcedlastweekthatallschoolsanduniversitiestobeclosedfrom20April.Someschoolsand

 

Size of the Schooling System:

Learners: 12 408 755

Educators:407 001

Schools: 23 076

                                                LEARNER / TEACHERS / SCHOOLS

Public

12 408 755

407 001

23 076

Independen 

632 443

37 856

1 922

Total

13 041 198

444 857

24 998

 

SOCIAL DISTANCING IMPLICATIONS

Infrastructure and Furniture

•Sanitizeclassroompriortostartofschoolday

•Sanitizehandsonenteringofclassroom

•Limitmovementoflearnersbetweenclasses

•Noclusteringofdesksinclassrooms

 

Transport

•WorkwithDoTtoensurethatbusesaresanitizedpriortostartoftrip

•Sanitizehandsonenteringofbus

•Managedistancebetweenlearnersinbus

•Compulsorywearingofmasksthroughouttheschoolday,startingbeforeboardingtransport

 

REMEDIAL MEASURES

1.Provincesidentifiedschoolswithcriticalwatersupplychallenges.

2.DepartmentofWater&Sanitation(DWS)initiatedanEmergencyWaterSupplyprogramme:

a)Thatinstallswatertanksatcriticalsupplypoints

b)Thendeliverportablewaterbywatertruckstothesetanks

3.DBEwillparticipateinthisinitiativetogetwatertanksinstalledattheidentifiedschoolsandtogetpotablewaterdeliveredtothesetanks.

4.FollowingthelatestliaisonwithProvinces,therevisedfigureisaround3500schoolswithcriticalwatersupplychallenges.

 

BASIC SANITATION AND HYGIENE PACKAGE

•Abasicandessentialhygieneandsanitationpackagehasbeendeveloped,andprovincesareprocuringitems.Theseincludecleaninganddisinfectionmaterials,PPE,sanitizers,handwashingsoap,gloves,clothmasks&thermometers.

•TheDBEhasdevelopedGuidelinesforschoolsonmaintaininghygieneduringtheCOVID-19pandemictoproviderecommendationsonthepropercleaninganduseofPersonalProtectiveEquipment(PPE)basedonriskexposureincluding:

–Basicprinciplesofinfectionpreventionandcontrol;

Riskreductionmethodsforschools,classrooms,toilets/bathrooms,offices,andfoodpreparationarears;

–Dailydutiesofcleaners;and

HowtousePersonalProtectiveEquipment(PPE).

 

SCREENING, TESTING & TRACING

Screeningoflearnersandeducatorswillbedoneatre-openingofschoolsstartingwithGrades7and12(temperaturecheck).

 

•Learnersorstaffmembersthatpresentwithraisedtemperaturewillthenbeconsideredforisolationandtesting.

 

STANDARD OPERATION PROCEDURES

TheStandardOperatingProcedures(SOPs)fortheContainmentandManagementofCOVID-19forChildcareFacilities,SchoolsandSchoolCommunities(consultedwithDOHandprovinces)provideguidelinesforalladministratorsonthestepstobeundertakeninordertopreventthespreadandmanagecasesofCOVID-19including:

•GuidanceforchildcarefacilitiesandschoolsonpreventingtheofspreadofCOVID-19;

RoleofchildcarefacilitiesandschoolsinrespondingtoCOVID-19;

ManagementofCOVID-19CasesinaChildcarefacilityorSchool;

•GuidelinesforHeadsofDepartmentsandSupervisorsonCOVID-19:Procedureregardingemployees;

•ManagementandMonitoringofabsenteeism;

•LearnerTransportmeasures;

Closureofaunit/component/office/departmentifanemployeetestedpositiveforCOVID-19;and

•Howtocleaneducationalestablishmentswheretherewerelearners,stafforotherswithsuspectedorconfirmedcasesofCOVID-19.

 

ORIENTATION AND TRAINING

•Thepurposeoftheorientationandtrainingprogrammeistoenablelearners,educatorsandnon-teachingstafftoadjusttoandbecomefamiliarwiththespecialarrangementsatschoolsfollowingtheoutbreakofthecoronavirusinSouthAfrica.

 

•Theorientationprogrammeprovidesguidelinesforinteractionwithlearners,parents,educatorsandnon-teachingstaffintheschoolcommunity.

 

•Alllearners,educatorsandsupportstaffwillreceiveorientationandtrainingatthestartoftheschoolreopeningcommencingwithGrade7and12.

 

•Theorientationandtrainingprogramme/packagewillcomprise:

–atrainingmanual

Videoclipsandaninformationbookletarethekeyresourcestodelivertheorientationprogramme

Postersandappropriatesignagetodirectteachers,learnersandnon-teachingstaffonwhattodo.

•Theorientationprogrammewillbelinkedtoacommunicationstrategyandsharedthrough:

TelevisionandRadioBroadcasts

WhatsAppandothersocialmediaplatforms

WebsitesofDBE,PEDsandPartners

 

DRAFT AMENDED SCHOOL CALENDAR

•Theoriginalschoolcalendaryearstartedon15January2020andwouldhaveendedon4December2020.Theamendedschoolcalendarwillendon9December2020.

•TheSchoolCalendarfor2020willbeadjustedtohaveschoolsopenon4May2020forteachersand6Mayforlearners.Thegradeswillbephased-instartingwithGrades7and12.ThelostschooldayswillberecoveredbyshorteningtheJuneholidaysto5daysandtheSeptemberholidaystoalongweekendinordertomakeupthesedays.The4thtermwillalsobelengthenedtocloseon9December2020forlearnersand11December2020forteachers.

 

NON NEGOTIABLES (PRE-CONDITIONS) FOR THE REOPENING OF SCHOOLS

1.COVID-19essentials(BasicSanitation&HygienePackage).

2.Water&Sanitation(Mobilefacilitiestoreplacepitlatrines).

3.Cleaners(EPWP).

4.Screeners(EPWP).

5.Additionalteachingpoststodealwithovercrowding(Noclassshouldhavemorethan40learners).

6.Additionalsubstitutepoststoreplacestaffduetolongillness.

7.Provisionofmobileclassroomstodealwithovercrowdingastemporarymeasure.

8.IncubationCampsforprogressedandweakerlearners(Grade12).

 

RULES FOR OPERATION

•OfficesandInstitutionsareencouragedtoadoptawork-from-homestrategywherepossible,andallstaffwhocanworkremotelymustbeallowedtodoso.

•Workersabovetheageof60,aswellasworkerswithcomorbiditiesidentifiedbytheDepartmentofHealthshouldbeofferedawork-from-homeoptionorallowedtoremainonleavewithfullpay.

•Thereshouldbeworkplaceprotocolsinplacethatwouldincludediseasesurveillanceandpreventionofthespreadofinfection.

•AllofficesandinstitutionsmustscreenemployeesandlearnersonadailybasisforsymptomsofCOVID-19,includingasymptomcheckaswellastemperatureassessment.

•Alllearnersandemployeesmustuseaclothmaskespeciallywheresocialdistancingisnotpossible.

•Officesandinstitutionsmusthavesanitizersavailableorhandwashingfacilitieswithsoap.

Stringentsocialdistancingmeasuresshouldbeimplementedintheofficesandinstitutions.

 



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