DA raises concerns over reported unpreparedness to receive more learners

SEKHUKHUNE – The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Limpopo has raised concerns over the reported unpreparedness in receiving the returning Grades 6 and 11 learners on Monday, 06 July 2020, by certain schools in the province.

The DA said it received complaints from parents and other stakeholders regarding schools that were ill-prepared and some of the schools that had insufficient or inconsistent water supply; inappropriate sanitation and classroom space to ensure social distancing.

According to the party, during a meeting on 25 June 2020, between Limpopo Premier Chupu Mathabatha and leaders of political parties in the provincial legislature, a presentation indicated that 455 schools had received temporary toilet facilities from the Department of Basic Education and 44 schools had received the latter from the provincial department.

The party further indicated that the presentation also revealed that 396 out of 490 schools had received water tanks while 78 schools were waiting to be provided with the tanks and water.

Jacques Smalle, DA Limpopo Spokesperson on Education, said the lack of preparedness by those schools was of particular concern because of its impact on the academic year and the threat it posed on the health of educators, staff and learners.

Smalle added that it was unclear if the problems were experienced with the schools nutrition programme and scholar transport as Grades 6 and 11 learners returned to schools.

He promised that the party would be conducting some oversight visits at schools in the province during the week to determine the levels of readiness and compliance with COVID-19 health and safety measures following the introduction of more learners at schools.

“We are also encouraged by reports of some schools that were well prepared for safe resumption of learning for Grades 6 and 11 learners. This should be the level of preparedness that should have been assured across the entire province’s school system. The DA will continue to monitor the progress of schools as more grades return to school and the adherence to the health and safety measures during this COVID-19 pandemic to ensure learners, educators and staff are not haphazardly exposed to the virus,” concluded Smalle.

Thapelo Motseo

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