GDE Equips Learners and Parents During COVID-19 School Precautionary Recess

In line with the declaration of school closures by President, Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa, as a means of containing and managing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) has instructed all Gauteng schools to abide by the following safety measures and guidelines:


In respect of Learner Safety, schools will close on Wednesday, 18 March 2020 at 11h00. Where a school has no planned examinations for 18 March 2020, schools may opt to release learners at the end of the school day on Tuesday, 17 March 2020.

With regards to Educators and Public Service Staff, the last school day for the first term is Friday, 20 March 2020, this is to allow for the finalization of all outstanding administrative work.

To make up for the additional 10 days in the holidays of the first term, the school calendar for the second term will be adjusted to reduce the mid-year holidays by seven (7) days and the third term will be adjusted to reduce the third-term holidays by three (3) days.


The GDE has agreed on a number of steps that must be taken to ensure that education is not compromised. Each school will have a practical and comprehensive catch-up plan to be implemented.

Learners are urged to work independently at home under the supervision of parents/caregivers. Parents must note that learners need to be meaningfully occupied as this is not an extended holiday but a necessary measure to contain the spread of the COVID–19 pandemic.

Learners are provided with a content guideline document for both General Education and Training (GET) and Further Education and Training (FET) subjects to make up for the lost teaching and learning time.

The guideline document and support material will be made available on the following link:


A reading programme will be implemented for parents and learners, which will encourage them to drop all and read for one hour daily, ensuring that parents read to their children for at least one hour daily. The timeframe will depend on whether the parents are employed or unemployed.

Learners are expected to read passages in the Department of Basic Education (DBE) workbooks and respond to comprehension questions. They must also register at their local community library in order to have access to a variety of reading material.

Schools that are registered will provide access to a Digital Library, and also provide readers and DBE workbooks (reading passages) for learners to read at home.

Curriculum-based activities will also be implemented where parents and learners ensure the utilisation of DBE workbooks (Book 1) in the following subjects:

  • Mathematics – grade 1 to 9;
  • Languages – grade 1 to 6;
  • Life skills – grade 1 to 3 (Learners to complete at least 2 pages per day).
  • All other subjects including Maths and Languages to use textbooks (schools to allow learners to take textbooks home)

In addition access will be provided to online programmes such as:

Schoolswill provide guidance to parents in terms of the expectations on how to implement the programme based on their contextual background over and above what the province suggests. They will also develop activities in preparation for a catch-up programme that will be implemented as soon as learners are back at school.

Provincial access to additional material and E-content can be retrieved by learners on the following educational websites.



This year, a Matric booklet has been designed to assist the grade 12 learner to prepare thoroughly for the 2020 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination. It is a 46-page user friendly booklet that guides the grade 12 learner on the pass requirements for an NSC: policy amendments and implications and learner concessions.

In addition, it provides study skills and examination preparation info graphics that guides and motivates the learner to take responsibility for their learning and creates awareness through self-management and self-assessment techniques.

Other critical areas of the booklet include examination room protocol and invigilation; sourcing critical supplementary materials, specifically NSC question papers and basic techniques on how to effectively answer examination questions. QR codes are attached for learners to access the DBE NSC past papers and Mind the Gap study guides using their smart phones.

The book will be availed electronically via a GDE link A guideline on how the book can be utilised more effectively by learners is attached. It is advised that parents familiarise themselves with the guideline and the booklet.


In line with the measures announced, the department recommends that all large school events be avoided during this period, and where it is necessary or essential the following directive apply viz., events, meetings, gatherings or workshops of less than or equal to 50 participants is recommended.

The department will ensure that all teacher training activities be designed for groups less than or equal to 50 participants. All school tours and excursions, approved or not, are hereby suspended until further notice.

For more information, contact the Gauteng Department of Education’s Spokesperson, Steve Mabona on 072 574 3860.

Issued by the Gauteng Department of Education

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