Gauteng schools reopening: Thumbs up at one, thumbs down at another

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Gauteng MEC for Community Safety Faith Mazibuko. (File, Collen Mashaba)
Gauteng MEC for Community Safety Faith Mazibuko. (File, Collen Mashaba)
  • Gauteng MECs visited several schools across the province on Monday as Grade 7 and 12 pupils resumed on-site learning.
  • Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko wasn't entirely happy with what she found at a school in Sebokeng, south of Johannesburg.
  • However, teaching did resume at Sehopotso Secondary School after meeting enough of the safety checks.

Gauteng Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko raised concerns regarding the level of cleaning at Sehopotso Secondary School in Sebokeng.

Mazibuko visited the school to inspect the state of readiness as Grade 7 and 12 pupils returned to classrooms on Monday.

The MEC said the school wasn't thoroughly cleaned, including several classrooms.

However, she said the school was ready to resume teaching and learning.

"We are aware that some classrooms are being renovated after the school suffered burglaries. We told them to clean all the affected classrooms.

"After all, I'm happy with pupils' sitting arrangements, and that it was deep cleaned last month," said Mazibuko.

Mazibuko said they were expecting 74 Grade 12 pupils to resume schooling.

"We have checked classrooms and established that they have been properly demarcated for physical distancing. Desks are positioned according to subjects that pupils will be learning.

"There are classrooms that were not properly cleaned; we were also told that the matric classrooms were being renovated, and pupils are now using classrooms meant for other grades temporarily. We told them that all classrooms should have been properly cleaned because coronavirus does stay on steel objects for many hours.

"If there are spider webs on a window, it showed that the window was not touched when the school was cleaned. They are correcting all those things we have highlighted," said Mazibuko.

READ | Gauteng farm school closed after mayor discovers there is no water for pupils

She said each pupil will be provided with two masks.

"They will be screened when entering the school. Today, it is all about orientating pupils about the virus. We are impressed that there are no water and electricity shortages, but our main concern is burglaries that took place in this school.

"We have deployed patrollers to protect everybody in the school and a police sector van to guard the school at night. The school must assist by erecting a proper fence. Teachers have been trained, and none of them tested positive," said Mazibuko.

Meanwhile, in the nearby Barrage farming area, the Ramusukula Secondary School was forced to close its gates for at least the day, after Emfuleni Mayor Gift Moerane raised alarm bells because there was no running water.

The mayor discovered the lack of water when he inspected a bathroom. Officials at the school told him the borehole, which usually supplies their water, had run dry.

The pupils were at the school for four hours before they were told to go back home. They were using sanitiser to wash their hands while at school.

Moerane said he suggested the school be temporarily closed and an alternative venue found, "where our children and teachers will be housed while water is being delivered to the school and the toilets are fixed".

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