The Minister of Basic Education, Dr. Angie Motshekga announced that on 6 July 2020 Grades R, 6 and 11 should join the Grade 7 and 12 learners who had returned to school earlier. She also said the schools are ready to re-open and that the Department of Education is working together with the Department of Health to ensure the readiness of schools and to welcome these Grades back.
She added that schools have been provided with Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and there is enough water to secure the protection of children. Even though the monitoring of schools by activists around Gauteng shows that many schools lack readiness, have broken infrastructure and many also struggle with running water.
In Orange Farm (south of Johannesburg), schools keep closing due to the number of staff and learners that are testing positive for coronavirus. Even before the Minister announced the re-opening of schools for the other grades, some of the schools where already closing due to infections.
In schools such as Lesedi La Kreste Primary School known as Anglican Primary, there were 5 teachers and 2 Grade 7 learners who tested positive for COVID-19.
The principal had to close the school and tell the parents that the school will be closed until further notice. He asked the parents to go to the local clinic to test their children.
On 7 July 2020 children learning at Stredfort Primary School were sent back home because the principal of the school had tested positive for COVID-19. The school later closed.
These are not the only schools that are closed in this area. Another community media house, the radio station (Thetha F.M) has committed to doing follow-ups on the closed schools on how and when they will re-open.
Parents are now worried about the safety of their children. They are panicking because they can’t afford the online learning since the majority are not working and they survive with social grants.
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