Saving Academic Year Might Increase COVID-19 Spread

The Minister of Education Angie Motshekga has postponed the reopening of schools from the 6th of May to a proposed alternative date of 18th of May 2020. The Department of Education had received a number of concerns from the Ministers of Social Cluster suggesting that the 6th May 2020 was too soon to implement the phasing approach for the reopening of schools.

Schools have been closed since the 18th of March 2020 due to the COVID-19 virus, days before South Africa went on a National Lockdown. As the country now enters stage 4 which allows essential mobility and resumption of economic production for some industries, The Department of Education has also been considering reopening schools ASAP to make up for lost time.

The dilemma that The Minister of Education,Angie Motshekga is now faced with, is the lack of resources in rural area schools . Some schools barely have enough desks or classroom space to implement the; only 40 learners in a classroom and 2 learners per desk safety measures.

The reality is that,nearly 3500 schools in South Africa do not have water and will need the department to assist with water tanks. On the other hand parents and SGB members are not in full support of the reopening of schools due to the increased number of infections and death toll of COVID-19.

South Africa now has 5 350 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 103 deaths. It might not be far fetched for parents, students and even teachers to fear going back to school with these current statistics. Teachers on Twitter are highly concerned about everyone’s safety with some even posting the picture attached to this article to show the reality of the classrooms that they work in.

Angie Motshekga is yet to confirm the official date for the reopening of schools and the proposed date is still 18th of May 2020. -Developing Story.

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