Are Our Children Safe at School?


Andiso Mthiyane, Nqobile Ngidi and Samukelisiwe Hlengwa, matric pupils at Sibusisiwe Comprehensive School in Mbulumbulu being screened by Sibongile Gumede. Photo: Sandile Ndlovu

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In the Eastern Cape about 89 schools had been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in the seven day period of 9-16 August, yet schools are open nationwide. The Eastern Cape is not the only province that has put children’s health at risk – almost every province in South Africa has had to face that problem, and yet the Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga has not really tackled the issue.

Some schools are using a rotation system for learners, but many are still operating at full capacity, leaving it up to parents to demand schools to adhere to COVID-19 regulations by forcing them to close until they do.

To make the issue worse none of these children have been vaccinated and many of the teachers refuse to take the vaccine. Karibu! interviewed some parents in the Kliptown area (south of Johannesburg) on how they feel about their children going to school during COVID-19 especially now that a lot of cases are detected in schools.

According to many parents they fear for their little one’s health but said that there is nothing that they can do. One parent said that even if they do boycott school or don’t send their children to school, the children will always be the one who suffers at the end of the day. However, some parents disagreed, saying they had enough of how the government is handling the situation in schools. They said that their children’s health is far more important than going to school for the right reason but at a wrong time.

Not only are the children’s health in danger but as well as their safety. “The government has guaranteed our children’s safety to us, yet children have been kidnapped from school over the past years, and worse some have been molested, raped and assaulted on school premises yet nothing has been done”.

This article was submitted on 17 August 2021. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (www.Karibu.org.za), and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article (https://karibu.org.za/are-our-children-safe-at-school/).

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