Parents Face Difficult Decision as Schools Reopen


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People are worried about the future of their children following the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga’s announcement that schools would reopen. Despite the increase in cases of COVID-19 infections and deaths, the Minister said grades 7 and 12 must return to schools, and other grades will gradually follow to “try to save the 2020 academic year”. And now following Minister’s Motshekga’s latest announcement, schools have opened for Grades R, 6 and 11.

Some parents say they support schools reopening because “children are just walking around the streets since they don’t know anything about the virus”. They say the older children are smoking dagga, and that closing schools for too long will increase the rate of drug abuse, crime and teenage pregnancy because some parents “can’t control their children”.

But most parents are concerned about the safety of their children should they return to school while the coronavirus numbers are increasing daily. They pointed out that the government is failing to protect the workers who are striking over the lack of PPEs in the workplace. How then, can they trust that their children will be protected?

Public schools are overcrowded, which will make it difficult to monitor social distancing, especially in the lower grades. Furthermore, we are receiving reports daily of schools being forced to close because either learners, teachers, or support staff are testing positive for the coronavirus.

These parents say that there are learning channels on TV and that children should use this for learning instead of returning to schools.

This article was submitted on 2 June 2020. 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.

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