‘Plan to continue academic school year makes no sense’ | #schoolshooting

By Sisonke Mlamla 1h ago

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Cape Town – Basic education stakeholders, including teacher unions, are expected to conclude consultations today after day long meetings on Thursday to figure out if schools should close or not.
This after an outrage by unions calling for schools to be closed, saying that the lives of pupils and their members are at risk.

Motshekga said meetings would be concluded by today, and she would only be able to give the public some certainty about the reopening or closure of schools after consulting with the Cabinet at the weekend.

During the Covid-19 presidential imbizo, a public-participation platform, on Wednesday night, communities were able to interact directly with the government on challenges in society and engaged on community-generated solutions.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said there was a great debate taking place with the respective organisations about the reopening of schools during the pandemic and that would be given consideration by the National Coronavirus Command Council.

EFF national spokesperson Vuyani Pambo, said they were calling for the immediate closure of all schools and the implementation of remote learning.

DA spokespersons on education Belinda Bozzoli and Nomsa Marchesi said those who were advocating for schools to close clearly had no understanding of the damage it would cause to the academic progress of pupils, especially those in poorer communities.

“This is the worst form of grandstanding, as they completely disregard any consideration of the reality of millions of learners on the ground,” they said.

Public Servants Association spokesperson Reuben Maleka said the plan to continue with the academic year made no sense when considering that the Higher Education sector had already amended its current academic year to only conclude in March 2021.

Maleka said with the new student intake only likely from March 2021, the Department of Basic Education effectively had leeway until early 2021 to conclude the academic year.

“Currently schools will continue to open and close owing to infections at schools, with a severely disrupting impact on teaching and learning.”

He said it seemed that other than the minister, the only group that were happy for schools to remain open were cleaning companies that, through their connections, performed deep-cleaning every time a school had to close.

“This is regarded as a waste of money that could have been spent on ensuring that all schools have the required infrastructure to ensure the safety of every learner post-Covid-19,” said Maleka.

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