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Reopening of schools moved back but DBE says January fees must still be paid

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The Department of Basic Education said that while it acknowledged that the financial difficulties brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers and other school services would still have to be paid.

JOHANNESBURG – The Basic Education Department said that parents would still be required to pay for their children’s school fees for the month of January even though pupils were now only expected back in the classroom next month.

The department has announced that the reopening of both private and public schools have been delayed by another two weeks due to the current surge in COVID-19 infections in the country.

Parents have been enquiring whether they would receive any form of relief due to the late start of the 2021 academic calendar.

The department said that while it acknowledged that the financial difficulties brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers and other school services would still have to be paid.

Deputy Education Minister Reginah Mhaule: “School fees in January, yes, parents will have to pay. Remember that most of our independent schools, private schools and quintiles 4 and 5, they rely on school fees from parents and the academic year has started.”

Mhaule has encouraged those parents who cannot afford to pay school fees due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to inform school management.

“Let them come forward and indicate, you don’t just send a child and then you stay away. Indicate, as there will always be a place to cater for those that have lost their jobs and do not have money. We cannot say that learners cannot go to school because their parents have lost their jobs.”

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