The National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) is reportedly deeply concerned about the pressure on healthcare facilities with the rapid increase of COVID-19 infections during the second wave…

The council believes that Limpopo and Gauteng are only entering their peak now and that they are expecting high numbers of infections for a few weeks after that.

According to a report by Sunday Times Daily, the NCCC has recommended that the reopening of schools be postponed from 27 January to 15 February at a meeting with the senior officials from the Department of Basic Education on Wednesday night.

Ebrahim Ansur, secretary-general of Independent Schools Formal Alliance (Naisa) told the Sunday Times that the NCCC is concerned about the spike in Covid-19 infections and recommended that the department consult stakeholders to share the view that all schools should delay reopening until 15 February.

 

However, this is NOT yet a done deal.

The director-general, Mathanzima Mweli said that these recommendations must still be approved by cabinet and signed off by Basic Minister of Education, Angie Mothsekga.

According to Ansur, the official communication from the cabinet on the opening of all schools is expected to be released after 15 January.

In a press conference hosted on Thursday afternoon, EFF’s Julius Malema also called on the government to postpone the opening of schools. “We hope the government will hear our praying and protect our children. We are very fortunate that children are not dying. Imagine if we were losing children. Let our children be safe at home until we defeat this virus.”

 

What about schools that have already reopened?

Ansur says that schools that have already reopened have about 5 days to meet and greet and induct new learners until the official date for the reopening of all schools will be announced.

Get your online learning programmes ready

Ansur has urged schools that haven’t reopened yet, and who are able to offer online lessons, to make the necessary arrangements to start their online programmes as soon as is practically possible.

What parents say:

My son is not going back until Feb!

“My son is in a small Montessori school (at the most 15 kids in a class). After the holidays a few family members were unable to go back to work after mandatory COVID tests came back positive. None of them had any symptoms.

“This is probably the case with so many other families. Many people have had no reason to test but could be carriers.

“This is especially true for children who have come straight from the holidays where they have been playing with cousins and family. And let’s face it we have not been wearing our masks at family events or even when socialising with friends. The same applies to our helpers – many of whom have just struggled through the drama at the borders and have gone straight to work without time to self-isolate.

“The school has sent his workbooks and everything he needs to continue with online classes in the meantime. He is in a Gr R- Gr 1 mixed group the children in that group are age 5-8.

“So, my son and I are recreating life under level 5 until February at least to allow festive infections to run their course and avoid infection or being infected by others.” – Zethu Sithole

We can’t keep our children from living life!

“We can’t keep our children away from living life. What are we teaching them? To be scared? We should be teaching them to trust God in Faith.” – Kerry Bennett

Happy to start school on 27 Jan

“Happy to go back and we have had COVID (my kids didn’t get it at all despite being in close contact with us).” – Stacey Roper

What are your thoughts? Do you think the reopening of schools should be delayed? 

 

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