Angie Motshekga criticised for ‘back to school’ decision.

Basic education minister Angie Motshekga is at the receiving end of criticism after she reiterated calls for schools to reopen full-time amid fears about the surge in Covid-19 infections.  Briefing the media at the weekend, the minister said the department was doing all it could to avoid a  “academic disaster”. She said Covid-19 infections at schools must be treated on a case-by-case basis and must not be nationalised.

“While there are disruptions at our schools, we remain fairly stable. This week we reported 100 schools were disrupted. We have more than 25,500 schools in the sector, which means 25,400 schools remain stable. We are of the view that schools must remain open. In saying so, we are not insensitive to the concerns raised about the rising infections. The position we will be presenting to the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) is that Covid-19 cases must be handled on a case-by-case basis and in a differentiated approach,” said the minister.

She added that 582,000 staff at public and private schools would be vaccinated between Wednesday and July 8. General workers in schools and employees at the department of education provincially and nationally will also receive the vaccine. The minister said though vaccination is not mandatory, it is highly recommended.  She said the department had two months to prepare for the reopening of schools and they were at different stages of readiness to reopen.



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