The civil rights organisation AfriForum welcomes the announcement by Angie Motshekga, Minister of Basic Education, today that schools will gradually open to resume the 2020 school year.
According to current planning, schools will restart on 6 May 2020 for Grade 7 and Grade 12 learners, and thereafter gradually reopen for other grades up to 15 July 2020, when Grade R learners will be allowed to return to school.
The fact that 3 500 schools in South Africa still have no access to running water and therefore are unable to maintain hygiene as required, is a major source of concern.
Furthermore, AfriForum is of the opinion that the breakdown of the number of learners allowed per class has not been explained clearly. The organisation requests that the department should urgently provide more information in this regard.
“Unfortunately, the unprofessional presentation of the announcement created little confidence amongst the thousands of teachers, parents and learners who were watching,” says Carien Bloem, Manager of Education at AfriForum. “AfriForum hopes that in future attention will also be given to the manner in which announcements of such important information are made. Parents, learners and staff are currently under great pressure and should therefore be able to rely on professional guidance and the provision of clear-cut, detailed information.”
AfriForum is engaged in extensive planning for support to schools to help ensure and supplement the safety of all involved. More announcements in this regard will be made once schools reopen.
“AfriForum is inter alia distributing free multilingual patterns for the production of masks, while also developing information sheets that teachers can use in classrooms to educate learners about the importance and maintenance of basic hygiene,” adds Bloem.
Bloem invites members of the public to contact AfriForum at email@example.com if they know of schools that may require support, or would be interested in any of these products.