Schools across South Africa were meant to be open today, however, due to concern by parents and other education stakeholder communities, the schools will only re-open on the 8th June 2020. In a continued effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus, only grades 7 and 12 – the final years of junior and senior school respectively – will return to classes next week.
Re-opening of schools has been met with mixed reactions, as many fear it will spark a massive spike in infections.
When the re-opening of school dates were announced some groups planned to challenge the decision of Education Minister Angie Motshekga by taking legal action.
Facebook Group Parents Against the Opening of Schools, which has garnered over 33 000 members, is currently in the process of lodging an interdict to prevent the Department of Education from reopening of schools – after which the decision will be taken for review. Political leaders have also added their voice and pressure to the re-opening of schools.
In response to this, the South African government has listened and decided to reschedule the opening of schools as outlined in todays letter by the South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa: “Now, in the last few days, several of these stakeholders – including teachers and parents – have expressed concern about the state of readiness in many schools. We have heard them, we welcome their contributions and are taking steps to address their concerns as well as proposals”
Yesterday, a planned media briefing on was rescheduled and is scheduled to take place on Monday,01 June 2020. Fast Company (SA) will keep you informed about the latest developments with the re-opening of schools.