THE REOPENING of schools in SA is far from being realistic.
This is because unions and parents aren’t supporting the move by the department of basic education to reopen schools on June 1st 2020.
At the core center is safety, social distancing, sanitizing amongst others following the outbreak of Covid-19.
This week minister of basic education Angie Motshekga addressed that thousands of Grade 7 and 12s will return to school from June 1st to be followed by phasing in of other grades as it begins the academic year that is already disrupted.
According to Motshekga they consulted with unions, MECs of education, Premiers and other stakeholders to suggest the reopening of schools, but it seems all is not above board.
Sadtu and other unions representing teachers are having none of it questioning the modalities and what scientific study was reached to reopen schools and also questioned the state of readiness following the burning, looting of schools in the country?
They also asked on the readiness of water and sanitations infrastructure at schools in far flung areas of the country?
Motshekga, former teacher by profession, has been at wits end with stakeholders and it seems fight is far from over.
Although she did indicate some parents may opt to conduct home-schooling for their children in the event of safety issues, Motshekga said most of learners will return to classes.
The Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools has asked Motshekga to arrange a meeting with medical experts and scientists to try to allay parents’ fears.
The group’s CEO, Paul Colditz, said one-third of 3,700 parents responding to a recent snap survey believed schools should not reopen at all this year.
National Alliance of Independent Schools Associations (Naisa), which represents nine private schools associations’ chair- Mandla Mthembu says during meeting with department’s director-general Mathanzima Mweli, they were told no private schools should reopen before June 1.
Fiona Kritzinger, a Paediatrician suggests children returning to school is idealistic and should be supported.
MEC for education in Gauteng Panyaza Lesufi says all the PPEs are ready for distribution for teachers and other frontline workers when schools resume.
A friend and Dentist who operates in Soweto says he’s not comfortable with his children returning to classes considering the situation describing it as “untenable and deadly”.
Question is will the Grades 7 and 12s return to school in June or NOT?
Image (No smiling matter and under-pressure minister of basic education Angie Motshekga).