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letter from the principal: 15 May 2020

BY Mrs K. Stear

                                                                                                       15 May 2020
 
Dear Parents and Learners

I trust all are still remaining safe and well and have not been afflicted by this terrible virus.
I pray every day that this will remain so until this trying time is done.
 
Today we have put out a survey for the grade 7 and grade 12 parents to please fill in. This survey seeks to ascertain the number of parents who will be willing to send their children back to school when we are given the go ahead to do so, and the number of parents who do not wish to do so for various reasons. All information will be handled, as always, with the strictest confidentiality. This is for planning purposes only at this stage.  Please find the survey at
https://forms.gle/nnkDE8MP987wuCff8.
 
I wish to thank all our learners who have been so diligent in completing all the work sent through by your teachers.
I wish to thank all our parents who have been bending over backwards to assist their children.
I wish to thank all our teachers who have been putting in an immense effort to keep the curriculum going.
 
We have continued with some extra-murals in spite of lockdown.  Well done to the hockey girls who have continued with their fitness programmes.  We invite learners from Grade 4 to 12 to submit creative writing and/or photographs of themselves in a culture outfit.  We invite Grade 8-12 learners to submit oratory contest submissions.  The details for these submissions can be found on the d6 under the NEWS category.  We have also been enjoying the clips that various clubs have been submitting for our social media platforms. This keeps our girls feeling connected.   
 
The Department of Basic Education (DBE) task team has been trimming the curriculum (except for grade 12) and has provisionally indicated that as much as 20% will be trimmed from some of the subject curricula. According to the information we have received from Fedsas and the Teacher Unions, the task teams involved with the adjustments and trimming process for the various subjects will be presenting their findings to the Minister of Basic Education on 15 May. Thereafter it will be presented to the cabinet, after which it will be distributed to the provinces to distribute to schools. As soon as we receive the DBE curriculum adjustments and trimming, we undertake to inform our parents regarding the adjustments where applicable and relevant.
 
The financial issues surrounding this enforced lockdown has been and will be discussed at length by the SGB Finance Committee. The Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, appealed to parents to continue paying school fees during this lockdown time. We know, however, that this is a very difficult time for all our parents and the school. On the one hand, the school has certain expenses that cannot be left unpaid, such as teacher’s salaries, insurance, the various rental contracts, municipal levies, etc. On the other hand, we know that the economy has slowed down tremendously and that a number of parents have been retrenched or had to take pay cuts. Please be assured that we are sympathetic to all these matters. We ask parents, if they are able to, to pay their school fees into our bank account by eft, if possible.
Bank – FNB  Acc Name- Riebeek College GHS      
Acc Number – 53971284352 
Branch code – 210316    Reference – learner’s surname/fees.
 
I must unfortunately report to you again that we are in a state of limbo as we do not know for certain when school will restart. It is disappointing that our Minister of Education, Angie Motshekga, has delayed her address to the public to the 18 May. The unions and SGB associations will be having a meeting tomorrow with the Superintendent-General of Education, Mr Themba Kojana, and hopefully further instructions and clarity will be made available after this meeting.
What is certain, though, is that the school terms will be adjusted to make provision for more teaching days in the year. The present proposed dates we have for the remaining terms, at this time, are as follows
Term                   Dates
1                                            15 January to 16 March
2                                            1 June to 24 July (grades phased in) then 1 week holiday.
3                                            3 August (grades phased in) to 23 September – then a long weekend.
4                                            28 September to 9th December.
 
If (and the Eastern Cape DoE stated they are not sure they can) the schools start phasing in learners, the proposed phasing in programme is:
Grade 7 and 12:            1 June
Grades 6 and 11:          15 June
Grades 5 and 10:          29 June
Grades 4 and 9:             13 July
Grade 8:                           27 July
 
We remind our parents again of the need to monitor the emotional, psychological and mental health of our girls.  It can be very easy for the girls to express negativity about the school work and they need your support, encouragement and positivity to keep working at a steady pace.  Please know that our teachers are carefully managing the work so as to best prepare them for their return to school. 
 
In conclusion, I wish to reaffirm that the safety of Riebeek’s staff and learners remains our first priority and we will not take any actions that place their health and safety in jeopardy. Nor will we fail to put every measure in place possible to ensure their health and safety.  I truly wish for you to remain safe until we can finally meet again.
 
Mrs K Stear
PRINCIPAL

 May 15, 2020
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2020
Mrs K. Stear

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