The issue of schools re-opening on 1 June has caused parents across SA to engage in heated debate, as they are divided between two camps.
One group is firmly against the re-opening, with calls for a mass stayaway and a petition that has over 150 000 signatures. On the other hand, many parents are relieved that schools are opening and that their kids can return to a more normal way of life.
One parent wrote to Parent24 to say that, yes, they are definitely sending their children back to school. "We both work in essential services and though my husband works shifts, home schooling is not an option and neither is leaving my child alone at home all day."
Mom Shannon wrote to tell us that "the world has to return to a level of normality sooner than later. Children's sanity hangs on a brink."
Another parent wrote to tell us that it has never been a pleasant experience to repeat a grade. "I see parents saying they rather see their children repeating a grade than seeing them dead - do they know how their children feel about repeating a grade? And it's implications on their self esteem?"
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A determined parent told us that her daughter, now in Grade 12, wants to study medicine next year. "The kids already completed their curriculum for matric through online and WhatsApp classes. To hold her back this year would be an injustice."
Dad Kenneth maintains "My child, my responsibility, and I'm sending him back to school. I'm not forcing him, but he also wants to go back to school."
"Who ever is against the re-opening of schools, please do it for your children... your choice to choose what's best for them and stop blocking others from attending school."
"I can see fear and jealousy on some parents," he wrote. "They jealous that if some children return to school they will do better than their children in future."
On social media the conversations got heated, as parents debated the pros and cons of sending children back to school before the pandemic is over.
Mom Louise commented that "mental health is far harder to cure than physical health" and mom Makhosazana suggested "Register to reach your children at your home. My child is going to school. Your choice is your choice. My choice is my choice."
As one parent commented, there are so many opinions on this, "nevertheless I feel that we as educated people, should have the choice. The worst thing of this pandemic and lockdown is the fact that we are being treated as children with no rights."
Another says that "we cannot hide forever, and the chances are better for them to build an immunity."
"For once I agree with Angie. She is opening schools for the millions who do not have online schooling and for the ones who are not being educated during this time," commented another parent.
"She did say we as parents have a choice..... Speak to your school and continue homeschooling, or if you want to, send your child to school. A lot of this choice lies in the school that your child goes to."
"My child has 60 kids in her school, 16 in her class (of which some won't send their kids back now). We are lucky, I am aware of that. I'd probably have a very different opinion if my child was in a school with thousands of children. Each to their own. but we cannot keep a blanket close on schools when they differ so widely."
Are you sending your kids back to school next month? Let us know.
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