The South African government has closed state schools in a bid to control the spread of the coronavirus. Older students in primary and secondary schools had returned to schools on 6 July.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said it was important to ensure that schools did not become sites of transmission at a time when coronavirus cases in South Africa are rising at one of the fastest rates in the world. He added:
The current academic year will be extended beyond the end of 2020 as a result of the disruptions caused by the pandemic.
We have taken a deliberately cautious approach to keep schools closed during a period when the country is expected to experience its greatest increase in infections.
When schools were reopened this month, a number of learners did not turn up for studies as they preferred online learning which they said is safer than attending school in physical classes.
This comes at a time when South Africa is now the fifth most affected country in the world.
More: ZBC News