Concerns on reopening of schools dominate social media - 'it's not yet safe'

20 May 2020 - 09:53 By Cebelihle Bhengu
Basic education mnister Angie Motshekga said schools would reopen on June 1.
Basic education mnister Angie Motshekga said schools would reopen on June 1.
Image: Cebisile Mbonani

Parents and guardians are flooding Twitter to express concerns about the reopening of schools, after basic education minister Angie Motshekga's announcement on Tuesday.

Motshekga said schools would reopen in a staggered fashion, with pupils in grade 7 and grade 12 returning to school on June 1.

The revised school calendar will be gazetted “soon” and will provide dates of the reopening and closing of schools, as well as breaks.

Motshekga quoted a Unicef framework as she warned that keeping pupils out of school for too long, would result in some dropping out for good.

Basic education minister Angie Motshekga announced that grade 7 and 12 pupils will return to classrooms on June 1 2020 while teachers will return to schools on May 25. Motshekga assured the public that the government would be implementing safety measures to prevent the potential spread of the coronavirus in reopened schools.

“Disruptions to instructional time in the classroom can have a severe impact on a child's ability to learn. The longer marginalised children are out of school, the less likely they are to return.

“We have history around that. In 2010 when there was this long teachers’ strike, [many] of our learners, especially teenagers, didn't come back.”

She also added that being out of school increased chances of teenage pregnancy, child marriage and sexual exploitation, among other things.

Some parents have lamented the decision and said they would not be allowing their children to return to school until it is completely safe to do so.

Here's some of the views raised on social media: