More than 3 000 Gauteng students didn’t return to school on Monday

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As schools reopened across South Africa on Monday 15 February 2021, Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi expressed concern over some students not returning to class.

Back to school in Gauteng

Speaking at the official opening of the Abram Hlophe Primary School in Katlehong on Monday, Lesufi explained some 3 000 learners dropped out during 2020. He added that officials were dispatch to investigate.

The MEC noted that COVID-19 had impacted the education sector, but said he wouldn’t allow a pandemic to be used as an excuse for dropping out of school. Approximately 2.4million learners were expected back in class today.

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Lesufi also warned learners that if they “vandalise or burn the school, [the department of education] will not refurbish it.”

Teachers lost to COVID-19

Gauteng Premier of the Gauteng Province, David Makhura attended the Abram Hlophe Primary School in Kahlehong and called on South Africans to “remember the teachers who succumbed to COVID-19”.

“Gauteng will be rolling out the COVID-19 vaccination programme, starting with healthcare workers. We will ensure that teachers are prioritised in the next phase of our vaccination programme”.

According to the provincial Department of Education, 34 teachers were lost to COVID-19. The department said it would be filling the vacancies in due course.

Back to school in Western Cape

As reported by SABC News, Western Cape Education Minister Debbie Schafer said approximately 10 000 learners must still be placed at schools for the 2021 academic year.

Shafer on Monday visited schools in Mitchells Plain on the Cape Flats and confirmed that one million learners are expected to return to school across the Western Cape during 2021.

It’s estimated that some 8 000 pupils must still be placed while the department is dealing with late applications.

Back to school in Mpumalanga

Speaking at school openings in Mpumalanga, Deputy Minister for the Department of Basic Education, Dr Reginah Mhaule, said the department is “pleased with the safe return of learners”.

Dr Mhaule reminded learners to adhere to safety protocols and assist in keeping schools “a safe and COVID-19-free zone”.

“Keep yourself neat and tidy by adhering to the health and safety protocols at all times”.

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