Schools reopening: Motshekga awaits Cabinet approval for 'consensus position'

accreditation
Angie Motshekga.
Angie Motshekga.
GCIS
  • A position on the opening of schools will be communicated after approval by Cabinet.
  • The Department of Basic Education consulted broadly to reach what it calls a "consensus position".
  • The DA supports opening schools, while the EFF likens it to premeditated murder.

A "consensus position" on whether schools should open or close as Covid-19 infections continue to rise will be provided as soon as Cabinet approves, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says.

She presented her department's adjusted budget to the National Council of Provinces on Tuesday.

"There are divergent views on whether schools should remain open or closed," she said, adding that these divergent views are also among parents.

She said they appreciate the input from all sectors.

READ | Limpopo, KZN postpone return of Grade 3, 10 pupils

"After solid consultations the past week, after Cabinet approval, we will be able to indicate what should happen in the sector in the face of ongoing infections in the country.

"There have also been loud voices that have been saying that we should close schools," she said.

She said they are listening to everybody.

Approval

"We will definitely come with a consensus position as soon as Cabinet has given approval."

DA MP Delmaine Christians said it is to the benefit of the country's children that schools remain open and are adequately provided for. She said the benefits of opening the schools exceed the negatives.

According to Christians, education experts and scientists said children's susceptibility to Covid-19 is low, and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) also supports opening schools.

She said closed schools will be most disastrous in poor communities, which are less likely to have internet connectivity, and where children are more like to experience abuse, malnutrition and poor mental health.

READ | Another teacher found killed in her home

"The longer our children are deprived of education, the poorer our nation will become," Christians said.

EFF MP Seneanye Lehihi said: "We stand here today as the EFF to demand that all schools remain closed."

Storm

She said schools were closed when there were a few cases - now, as the country is told to brace for the storm, with the peak expected in August or September, schools are opened.

"We should not be afraid to call it what it is. It is the premeditated killing of our children," Lehihi said.

Gauteng MEC of Education Panyaza Lesufi said they will continue to take advice from experts on the matter.

IFP MP Simo Mfayela said his party has from the start warned against the opening of the schools - because schools, particularly in rural areas, are not prepared for it.

Lesufi was one of four education MECs who spoke on behalf of the ANC.

A common thread in ANC speeches was that the pandemic had laid bare inequalities in South African society.

"It is unfortunate that Covid-19 is now becoming a new apartheid in terms of access, exclusivity and equality," Lesufi said.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Facebook is facing a fresh crisis after a former employee turned whistle-blower leaked internal company research. Do you still use Facebook?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, the benefits outweigh the risk for me
33% - 1778 votes
No, I have deleted it
38% - 2068 votes
Yes, but I am considering deleting it
30% - 1619 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
14.60
+1.1%
Rand - Pound
20.07
+0.6%
Rand - Euro
16.94
+1.1%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.83
+1.1%
Rand - Yen
0.13
+1.6%
Gold
1,767.22
-1.6%
Silver
23.32
-0.9%
Palladium
2,076.50
-3.1%
Platinum
1,060.26
-0.1%
Brent Crude
84.00
+1.0%
Top 40
60,494
+0.2%
All Share
67,029
+0.3%
Resource 10
64,347
-0.1%
Industrial 25
84,819
+0.7%
Financial 15
13,961
-0.3%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE