Action Society calls on President Cyril Ramaphosa not to postpone the 2021 school year. Schools and their respective governing bodies should rather be given the opportunity to take this decision based on their own merits.
This follows after Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, on Sunday suggested that schools reopen in February, after the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic has passed. During his state of the nation address tonight, president Ramaphosa announced that the reopening of schools will be proclaimed later this week.
“Each school’s circumstances are different. Therefore they must be granted the opportunity to decide for themselves how they will organise and handle the Covid-19 situation to benefit both learners and teachers. Many lessons to overcome obstacles have been learnt during the 2020-lockdown period,” says Daleen Gouws, spokesperson for Action Society.
The pressure group, which fights for the rights of the vulnerable people in our society, is aware that many scholars do not have access to the internet, smartphones or printers for distance learning. It is also in these communities where a day at school means access to that child’s only meal for the day.
With an already struggling economy, few parents can afford nannies or caregivers. Children are forced to stay at home alone while parents go to work. Often they are left in the unreliable care of individuals who abuse them.
“We understand that it is a complex decision to consider all the risks at stake. Our priority however is the welfare and safety of school-going children,” she says.