The closing of schools leads to blaming game, again

President Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa made announcement last night that all public schools will close up to a month, as a result of Covid-19 rise in the country.

Grade 12 learners and teachers would only take a week-long break, and grade 7 pupils would take a two-week break.

Various teachers unions have welcomed the move, especially South African Democratic Union that has been at loggerheads with minister Angie Motshekga.

However, the South African Human Rights Commission says the decision is regrettable and unjustifiable.

The opposition party Democratic Alliance says they do not support the move.

DA interim leader John Steenhuisen says Ramaphosa has bent the knee to teachers’ unions, particularly the South African Democratic Teachers Union.

“This decision is not supported by the best available evidence, it is not supported by education experts, and it is not supported by the virus data,” Steenhuisen said.

“The scientific evidence is that schools do not expose learners and staff to higher levels of risk than any other places.”

Barbara Creecy, former MEC education and now UJ senior researcher says she does not support the stance taken.

Teachers and students SLM spoke to in Soweto said the decision was not irrational considering the spiking numbers of Covid-19.

“We welcome the move although the academic calendar will be disrupted. But putting students and our lives at stake would comprise the situation to be more dire,” says anonymous Maths teacher at Prudens High, Tladi.

Lebohang Monare, a grade 12 at Thabo High in Naledi says the decision was welcomed though for her it will mean more hard work since she has to prepare for year-end exams.

The (18) who intends studying for Medicine says the battle of Covid 19 rages on having complicated everyone’s life. “We just have to soldier on and study just like our late utata Andrew Mlangeni who fought for our democracy unselfishly. That’s the only way to honour his legacy,” says Monare.

Motshekga is expected to address the nation on way forward.

The President announced that the country now has 498, 052 confirmed cases, making it the country with the fifth highest number of COVID-19 infections in the world.

South Africa also accounts for half of the overall number of cases on the continent.

Ramaphosa also said that he had signed a proclamation to empower the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to clamp down on corruption involving COVID-19 funds.

Image (Is it a blunder or is the Pres Cyril Ramaphosa and team correct to close schools)?

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