Action Society condemns the EFF’s threat regarding the closing of schools. In a country where violent crime is prevalent and threaten the lives of all South Africans, especially those of innocent children, the EFF is making reckless comments concerning the closing of schools due to the Covid pandemic. During a media briefing on Thursday at the EFF headquarters in Johannesburg, Julius Malema said: “Schools must close and they must close with immediate effect because our children are going to die. We give the minister seven days to close schools. Failure to do so, and we’ll have to close schools ourselves.”
According to Action Society, schools and their respective governing bodies should rather be given the opportunity to make the decision to close the school based on their own merits as 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 situation to benefit both learners and teachers.
“Many lessons to overcome obstacles have been learnt in the past year. The EFF and Department of Basic Education can’t expect all schools to be evaluated on the same level,” says Daleen Gouws, spokesperson for the lobby group.
The EFF forgets that approximately 9 million learners are fed daily through school feeding schemes and the closure of schools will leave these learners without a daily meal. This is not the only issue one has to take into consideration when advocating for school closures. 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.
Learners are busy preparing for their mid-year exams and it is imperative that the youth are not robbed from their right to education. The negative impact that Covid-19 had on the 2020 school year and educational levels of learners will already be felt for years to come.
“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,” Gouws concludes.
ISSUED BY: Action Society
DATE: 11 June 2021
FOR MEDIA ENQUIRIES:
Dr. Rineé Pretorius
Spokesperson: Action Society,
PR: Action Society,