In the first week of June this year, parents of learners attending Klipspruit West High School in Eldorado Park (south of Johannesburg) confronted the principal, demanding to close down the school because of the number of COVID-19 cases that were detected at the school. The school continued to stay open.
By 17 of June 2021 more cases in a different school, Missouri High School had been detected. It started off with only two learners being infected but recently at least five teachers and a number of learners have tested positive for the virus. Yet the principal of Missouri High did not want to close down the school for disinfecting but instead he dismissed the learners early each day. Learners still continued to attend school according to their timetable.
Some learners have said the reason why the principal doesn’t want to close the school is because they are busy writing their exams. These learners were very scared because almost every day new cases were being detected at the school. “We don’t know who is infected with the virus and its make us a bit worried,” said one learner.
Learners from Missourilaan Secondary School also said that the school does not follow the protocols of COVID-19 anymore like they used to before. Learners in the school are admitted in without sanitising or checking their temperature. According to one learner, when they asked why this wasn’t happening anymore, the school’s response was that there are too many children to sanitise and screen.
According to Eldorado Park residents the principal of that school had been admitted in the hospital due to COVID-19 complications and a few teachers also tested positive for coronavirus yet the school still remained open until it was forced to shut down by protestors.
On 17 June, Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga released a statement stating that over 1000 teachers and nearly 2000 pupils have tested positive leading 20 schools in Gauteng to be closed due to the number of COVID-19 cases that had been detected.
On Wednesday and Thursday, 23 and 24 June, Missourilaan Secondary was finally closed so that the school could be disinfected and sanitised. Learners of Missourilaan Secondary have said that the principal promised them at the beginning of the pandemic that if the school reports case of COVID-19 the school will be shut down for two week, but it was only closed for two days. This means the chances of children becoming infected are high.
On 27 June, when the President addressed the nation, he stated that by Friday, 2 July 2021, all schools must be closed. But the number of detected COVID-19 cases in schools has been steadily increasing at an alarming rate since May, resulting in many parents asking why the President waited so long to close schools.
This article was submitted on 18 June 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.