'Safety first' - Gauteng schools with suspected Covid-19 cases will close
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says schools with suspected cases of Covid-19 will be closed immediately.
This as pupils in grades 7 and 12 are expected to return to schools on June 1, after a two-month hiatus brought on by the lockdown.
Speaking on Power 98.7 on Wednesday, Lesufi said schools must ensure that all safety measures are in place before they reopen. The MEC added that teachers must be trained to explain Covid-19 to pupils, the importance of social distancing and the dangers of sharing masks and other equipment.
“It is not about the school that is ready to open, but the classroom that is ready to operate. We're starting from the classrooms, we check and validate every sanitation place and water pumps.
"Where we suspect there is any form of infection, that school will be shut immediately, until we are all safe. Our approach is safety first and it's the classroom that must be ready and not the pupils.”
There has been mixed responses to the announcement on the reopening of schools.
Times Select reported that Paul Colditz, CEO of the Federation of Governing Bodies of SA Schools, said he was disappointed that early childhood development children and those in grades 1, 2 and 3 were not going back to school on June 1.
Education activist Hendrick Makaneta said it was too early to reopen schools.
“Education is not an economy that needs reopening to mitigate trade losses already suffered, it is not an essential service. It should not be difficult for us to manage the academic year. I do not understand why the minister is rushing to reopen schools. A school calendar can simply be changed — for schools to start in September and end in March," he said.