SEKHUKHUNE – The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Limpopo has called for Limpopo Education MEC, Polly Boshielo, to provide clear details outlining the roll-out plan and level of readiness for the reopening of schools for the second batch of learners in the province amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The DA said it was deeply concerned about lack of information from Limpopo Department of Education on its plans to reopen schools and addressing the challenges that threaten the department in meeting the reopening date.
Jacques Smalle, DA Limpopo Spokesperson on education, said the department would struggle to address overcrowding as the province welcomed back over 930 000 learners and that would make social distancing almost impossible given that the province had a shortage of thousands of classrooms.
Smalle said that was further compounded by vandalized schools and those that were damaged by storms.
He added that other pressing challenges for the department at present were ensuring consistent water supply, water tanks as well as ensuring appropriate sanitation for the increased number of learners.
“At the present, it is unclear how the department will meet all their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and infrastructure commitments for this large number of learners returning, especially when they struggled to achieve this for a much smaller group of learners; Grades 7 and 12 in the initial reopening,” said Smalle.
Schools are meant to reopen for Grades 1, 2, 3, 6, 10 and 11; school of skills year, year 2 and 3; schools for learners with severe intellectual disabilities, grades 1, 2, 3 and 6 and special care centres for learners with severe and profound intellectual disabilities, year 1 to 3 on the July 6.
Smalle said the DA believed that transparency around the plans to reopen schools for specific grades was vital in ensuring that the health of educators, learners and school workers was not jeopardized. “We cannot have a repeat of the postponement of schools reopening at the eleventh hour that ends up inconveniencing and confusing learners, educators and parents