“We understand why some parents don’t want their children back in school yet”

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Although some parents and teachers are not happy with the decision by the department of basic education to reopen schools amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Minister Angie Motshekga said their decision to reopen can be justified.

The minister said to the National Council of Provinces on Thursday during a virtual plenary meeting that so far they have 98% of learners who were brought to schools by their parents/guardians.

“The 98% of parents would not have sent their children back in school if they didn’t trust the rationality of school reopening”

She also said that fears of the 2% of parents who have not sent their children back in school is understandable and the department is doing all it can to gain back the trust.

The minister announced late last month (May) that grade 7 and grade 12 learner would return back to school on June 1st, to which the date was later changed after receiving a backlash from parents and unions.

They were arguing that the decision was premature and ill-advised considering that there are schools that still don’t have reliable water supply and they still use pit toilets.

Minister said the reality is that all operations still need to commence and there is nothing they can do to guarantee absolute safety from Covid-19.

“Schools can still be closed for the Department of Health to interfere on decontamination, tracing and testing, there is no need to panic and schools that don’t meet necessary requirements should remain closed until further notice”

“Covid-19 is going to be with us for a very longtime we just need to learn to coexist with it, but still observing maximum precaution” she said.

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She also expressed concern over cases that were reported in various schools nationwide both in teachers and learners.

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