Cosas, ANCYL confront school 'for operating outside of Covid regulations'
Protesting members of the Congress of SA Students (Cosas) and the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) on Tuesday threatened to close Charterhouse private school in Roodepoort, west of Johannesburg, due to concerns relating to Covid-19.
The protesters sang outside the school and confronted the school’s management.
ANCYL activist Lindokuhle Xulu was seen accusing Mike Aitken, chief executive of schools at the ADvTECH Group, which owns Charterhouse, of genocide - which he refuted.
“The school is bringing young children with weak immune systems to school to kill them. There’s a deadly virus here. How do you make sure a three-year-old socially distances?” Xulu said.
“Accept the fact that you are lying. What you are doing is genocide.”
Aitken denied the accusation and said they had measures in place to ensure social distancing and the safety of the children.
Steve Mabona of the Gauteng education department said the school was only operating its early child development (ECD) centre.
“Some parents wanted to drop off their children but they were barred from doing that,” he said.
The social development department previously confirmed ECDs can reopen, the SABC reported. While school-based grade R classes are closed, ECDs under the department can offer contact classes, subject to them following the Covid-19 protocols prescribed by the government.
The Gauteng education department, however, wants independent schools to delay reopening entirely.
“As a department we have been saying to all the independent schools that they need to adhere to the call for a delay. It was clear all independent schools will be opening from February 1,” Mabona said.
“We encourage them to adhere and not open now and make sure we are safe and do not encourage the movement of people.”
He said the department will monitor schools as they do not expect to have any school in operation this week.