The NCCC want the reopening of schools to be moved to February 2021. Public schools are supposed to open on 27 January 2021 but the NCCC wants to push it to 15 February 2021. The reason for this is that the NCCC hopes that by then the second wave of Covid-19 infections would have started to decline.
Some of the independent schools already opened on Wednesday while the majority are expected to reopen next week.
Education sector groups met with the Department of Education on Wednesday night, when the decision by the NCCC was communicated to them. It appears that stakeholders may have differing views on the proposal to keep schools closed.
“In principle our position was that schools, based on the experience from last year, are safer for children because they are under control and can be supervised better than being out in the streets. The indications are that things might have changed. We don’t have the medical expertise and not quite sure about the readiness of all provinces to reopen and we don’t know how many teachers may be infected. We’ve had a high infection rate in the teacher cohort during the holidays” said Paul Colditz, CEO of the Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools.
Sadtu sait it has always been calling for schools to reopen only once the second wave has passed. “This is what we’ve been advocating for. We need to make sure that before schools open the numbers are declining. We don’t open when the numbers are not declining” said Mugwena Maluleke, Sadtu general secretary.
tameTIMES will keep you updated as this is a developing story.