Maimane's petition for schools to remain closed for 3 more months gains traction

Mmusi Maimane (Jan Gerber, News24)
Mmusi Maimane (Jan Gerber, News24)

One SA Movement founder and former DA leader Mmusi Maimane is proposing that schools remain closed for a further three months through an online petition.   

With only three days since its launch, the petition has been signed by more than 120 000 people as of Friday afternoon.

Maimane is calling on Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga to reconsider her rushed and ill-advised decision of reopening schools on 1 June.

This as fears are raised by teacher unions, parents and teachers over the possible spread of Covid-19 at schools.

With only 10 days left until the reopening of schools, Maimane felt there was no way 24 000 schools across the country would be "Covid-proof" in the coming days.

ALSO READ | Two Grade 12 learners on how they feel about going back to school during the Covid-19 pandemic

"Our proposal for schools to remain closed for a further three-month period is the most sensible choice. This will allow every school sufficient time to implement a 'road map to reopening' - a checklist of prerequisites that must be satisfied before any school is declared safe to reopen."

Last week, Motshekga announced schools, which were closed when the president announced a hard lockdown in March, would reopen in a phased manner in line with a more relaxed Level 3 lockdown.

Grades 7 and 12 pupils will be first to go back to school on 1 June, preceded by teachers who return on Monday.

Maimane said in light of the increasing rise in cases of Covid-19 infections, Motshekga's decision was a "risky and dangerous gamble with the lives of our nation's young people".

In his petition, Maimane said, as a father and uncle, he fundamentally disagreed with the decision.

By 15:00 on Friday, more than 120 000 people had signed his petition.

Voting Booth
It may soon be entirely illegal to drink and drive in SA. What do you think?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
This is long overdue
38% - 5560 votes
The current permitted alcohol level isn't the problem - irresponsible drivers are
45% - 6530 votes
A zero tolerance approach to drinking and driving is unworkable in SA
17% - 2399 votes
Vote
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo