“Reopening schools places educators, learners at risk of contracting Covid-19” Parent organisation

The organisation Parents Against Opening of Schools believes rushing children back to school will place educators and learners at risk of contracting Covid-19. Vanessa le Roux said the group was formed after the lockdown was imposed during the first wave of the pandemic.

“We now have over 111 000 parents from across the country; parents who agree for the second time, especially in this deadly second wave, that schools should not open now. We know our schools, we know our challenges, and these officials make decisions based on Zoom meetings,” Le Roux said.

Public schools are due to reopen on the 25th of January for teachers and on the 27th of January for learners. Le Roux said that countrywide, about 2000 teachers are grappling with the virus and some are even losing their lives.

“How can unions, the Basic Education Department and government not see this is a crisis? For way too long we failed to address the inequalities, and the gap has just widened. As a government we have become way too comfortable to leave the poor masses behind. They should have learned from the first wave. Western Cape speaks about a third and fourth wave, the government keeps preaching about the new normal and yet continues implementing old ways,” Le Roux said.

“They keep on telling us about masks and sanitisers, those teachers that died. Are they now telling us that these teachers didn’t follow protocols? If we trace back along the timeline of these recent deaths, these teachers could have been infected during the last week of school. The majority of parents feel schools should remain closed and we should revisit and assess that by the end of February. They should consider crowded classrooms. In normal circumstances they have over 50 learners in one class and children share stationery,” she added.

 

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