'Don't be afraid': home schooling and e-learning available for pupils in Gauteng, says Lesufi
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has urged parents who are uncomfortable with sending their children back to school to explore other ways for them to finish the academic year.
More than 300,000 pupils in grades 7 and 12 are expected to resume classes on June 1.
“In Gauteng, we are not only opening class contact, we are making the system available to every child, every parent. If there are parents that want to home school their children, we are making that provision for them,” said Lesufi.
“If there are parents that still want to use online or e-learning we will make that material available as well,” he said on Monday.
Lesufi said pupils who were ill and those with special needs would be accommodated as the department looked at reopening schools. Applications for parents to home school their children would remain open until September.
“There must be no parent that must declare that I’d rather have my child repeating a grade because I am scared. We want them to use all the channels that we have made available. We don’t want a generation that will lose the academic programme because of Covid. Besides, we don’t know how long this Covid will be with us,” he said.
Teachers across the country were expected to return to school on Monday. Some returned and others stayed away on the instruction of their unions. Lesufi said this was not cause for concern.
“There are other teacher unions that are encouraging their members not to report for duty. What is encouraging is that we have met all of them, we have agreed on a process ... We don’t think it’s a serious matter, because they say don’t come if there are no PPEs [personal protective equipment] and we agree with them because we have taken a posture of safety first.
“We said that we must deliver PPEs first and teachers must come,” said Lesufi.
He said the department would not open some schools if health there was compromised.
PPE's were delivered to numerous schools and planning for reopening had reached an advanced stage, he said.