'Is it safe to chow the back-to-school money now?' - SA finds the funny side of school reopening delay

15 January 2021 - 13:55
The 2021 school year will face disruptions due to the second wave of Covid-19. File image.
The 2021 school year will face disruptions due to the second wave of Covid-19. File image.
Image: 123RF/Confidence Nzewi

Twitter is flooded with hilarious reactions after the announcement by the basic education department on Friday that the reopening of schools was delayed by two weeks.

Tom and Jerry and Mr Bean seasons extended till 15 February,” one Twitter user shared, while others joked that 2021 already feels like a repeat of 2020.

Deputy basic education minister Dr Makgabo Reginah Mhaule told a media briefing the decision was influenced by an increase in Covid-19 infections.

Mhaule said the decision received the support of various education stakeholders that were involved during the consultations.

“The Covid-19 infection rate has increased and more people are getting infected by the virus. We are seeing more deaths, to the extent that almost everybody knows somebody who has been affected by it. In some instances, Covid-19 has wiped out entire families. It has left devastation in its wake and for many people, their circumstances have changed for the worse forever,” said Mhaule.

Earlier this week, President Cyril Ramaphosa hinted at an announcement from the department of education, saying there were concerns about reopening schools at the height of Covid-19 infections.

“As schools and other educational institutions prepare to begin the new academic year, there is understandable concern about whether this is advisable in the midst of a second wave of infections,” said Ramaphosa.

Mhaule said private schools were also asked to postpone their reopening to a later date.

School management, teachers and pupils will reopen in a phased approach. For public and private schools which follow the same calendar, changes are as follows:

  • school management teams will report for duty on January 25;
  • teachers will follow on February 1; and
  • pupils will return on February 15.

Here are some of the reactions to the delay: