After numerous postponements, Basic Education minister, Angie Motshekga has finally delivered an uptade on the preparations for the re-opening of schools during media briefing, held in Pretoria on Tuesday.
Minister Motshekga provided an uptade on the planned reopening of schools scheduled for 1 June after the approval by the Cabinet and covid-19 National Command Council.
On Monday, Motshekga met with the MECs and heads of department and other related education stakeholders to finalise and take rational decision on schools re open by 01 June.
Therefore, educators are expected to report on duty throughout the country from Monday of 25th May 2020.
“We will start with the grade 7s and 12s but also we will look at small and special schools differently because we may not be able to use the same measurement for all those other sectors but we will detail in the course of the month,” said Motshekga.
However, parents, pupils and retired teachers, have different visions on whether children should go back to school during covid-19 pandemic.
A proud mother of a grade 12 learner from Madibong village, Mokgohlwe Sebapu from Molebeledi said she does not support the decision taken by the officials, citing it as irrational decision.
Mokgohlwe said she was corned about the safety of their children says numbers of covid-19 spikes daily in the country.
“Sending children back to school without adequate or sufficient personal protective equipments is a major concern to us as parents. With the infection rate still climbing in, this is not a good time to reopen schools,” said father of grade 7 learner, Frans Mahlong.
Grade 12 learner, Lebo Kgaphola (Masemola high school) said she is not happy due to final decision took by education ministry. Lebo said officials took decision prematurely because country still in the midst of the covid-19.
Another learner, Tebogo Diphuphu (Moepadira high school) said they were already overcrowded in his class asking how they would practice social distancing.
The equal education, equal education law centre and section 27 welcomed Motshekga address, adding that inconsistent and contradictory information had caused much confusion and anxiety
“It has been over seven weeks since schools were first closed, while we understand that pupils usual access to education has necessarily had to be impacted by the covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown, the department of basic education is still required to ensure that the limitation on the right to basic education is reasonable and justifiable in terms of the constitution,” said section 27 communication officer, Julia Chaskalson
A retired teacher, Paul Writing said in preparations for the return of grd12 and 7 pupils, school must plan to ensure that no class has more than 40 learners and that learners are able to maintain a distance of one metre desks.
Writing said school must determine the point where social distancing will not be possible in this manner as more grades return.
“Principals should be available to receive deliveries of hygiene and safety packs,” said Writing.
Motshekga dismissed criticised that the discussion to re-open school across the country would lead to spread of covid-19.