People share views on schools’ reopening amid COVID-19

SEKHUKHUNE – Schools in the country reopened their doors for Grades 7 and 12 learners after they had been closed for about three months since March this year when the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic became rampant.

Late last month, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, announced that the schools would reopen on June 01 but it was not the case as teachers’ unions and various pro-education bodies stood against the decision, as they cited that the schools were not ready for both educators and learners amid the high rate of COVID-19 infections.

Many of the schools, especially those in rural areas, battled lack of access to water, faced overcrowding and Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs) had not been delivered with no fumigation done in most at the time.

Minister Motshekga postponed the phased reopening of schools for Grades 7 and 12 learners to Monday, 08 June 2020 to give time to address some of the challenges faced by the schools to be able to provide maximized safety for them and prevent the spread of the virus.

The paper spoke to people in Sekhukhune district to hear their views on the reopening of the schools on 08 June.

Sello Matsepe said it was with great sadness that the department was moving at the speed of light to reopen public schools.

“South Africa needs to take a step back and refrain from copying Asian countries in their approach to COVID-19 response on reopening schools. Most schools are still waiting for water storage tanks and water supply. In Tafelkop, disinfecting services are offered by volunteers and SGB members without being given any induction with regard to COVID-19,” said Matsepe.

Nomsa Chingowe said government was very clear that those who do not want their children to go to school must consider the home-schooling option.

“It is very frustrating to meet the same kids we are trying to protect at the malls and streets without safety measures. The department must make sure that the schools meet safety measures,” said Chingowe.

Vusi Mabena said it was a good idea for the department to reopen schools for the learners but it needed to ensure that all would be safe.

Nomshado Nkabinde, also from Dennilton, said she would be happy as a parent if the safety of the learners would become a priority of the department.

Simon Makua said the issue of reopening of schools during COVID-19 was a contentious one, with governments struggling to strike the balance between saving the academic year while protecting children from unnecessary exposure to the Coronavirus.

“I fully support government’s decision to reopen schools. Kids in rural areas play all over the streets disregarding lockdown regulations. To stop them from contracting the virus, they need to go back to school,” said Makua.

Dalom Rakgetse said the current academic year ought to be scrapped so that the department could attend to all major problems facing schools, especially sanitation issues.

Thapelo Motseo

COMPANY BACKGROUND Sekhukhune Times was founded in 2015 for the purpose of providing Sekhukhune community and businesses with quality news. The business is operated within the Sekhukhune district municipality which consist of four municipality namely Fetakgomo Tubatse Local Municipality, Ephraim Mogale Local Municipality, Makhuduthamaga Local Municipality and Elias Motsoaledi Local Municipality . Sekhukhune Times help the readers to become aware of their surroundings from social life, to the news happening in the community and also not forgetting what’s happening on the outside world’ it brings you all the news in a convenient and simple language that community can understand and It is released every Thursday and distributed through various mine, shops, , pubiic institutions and in schools. Complimentary copies are distributed to advertisers. The publication is also available online www.sekhukhunetimes.co.za Sekhukhune Times bring you all the news you need to know about the community, events coming up, speeches and also some tips on surviving student life as well as anything which you feel could be beneficial to students voicing out their opinions. MISSION . To became a cross border publication that will link young people from all corners of the world. . To became a source of information to the youth and community in general. .To became a tool for businesses big and small to market their products. .To serve as a communication tool for businesses, government, school and communities in general. .To offer jobs to young people and thus participate in eradicating unemployment, which is a major contributor to increase in crime, AIDS and poverty in our communities. .Provide auxiliary services such as printing, layout and design and photography for other institutions. . Sekhukhune Times is committed to providing the client with a quality product at competitive price within schedule. . At all time we will address and service the customers, requirements, comply with specifications, standards and technical requirements, act ethically and with dignity

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