Will all South African learners and their guardians be back to home-schooling for the next three weeks?
According to a report by TimesLIVE, the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) has prepared to advise Cabinet on the closure of schools during a meeting today.
The TimesLIVE report sites “reliable sources” within the teachers’ unions who revealed that the NCC would be speaking to Cabinet on Thursday. They are expected to recommend that schools be closed for three weeks as the country faces increasing infections due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Parents and teachers’ unions have been anxiously waiting for government to make a call on the closure of schools during the pandemic. There has been much debate about whether or not opening schools would impact the safety of teachers and learners.
Last week, teachers’ unions demanded that schools be closed to protect the physical and mental health of teachers.
South Africans are hoping to hear feedback from Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, on Thursday.
At the time of publishing, her department had not yet released any official information about the proposed closure of schools.
Coronavirus deaths continue to climb
As the pandemic spread throughout South Africa, Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize confirmed on Wednesday that 572 more people had died of Covid-19 – highest number so far in a 24-hour period. The total deaths stands at 5 940. Mkhize said the total recoveries is now at 229 175.
Should schools be opening during the peak of the pandemic?
The World Health Organisation says ‘no’. WHO Emergency Programme Executive Director Dr Michael Ryan says the best time to reopen schools is during low community transmission. He addressed the issue in a media briefing held by the WHO on 13 July.
“The best and safest way to reopen schools is in the context of low community transmission, that has been effectively suppressed by a broad-based, comprehensive strategy,” said Dr Ryan.
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