Gauteng lawmakers said today, that authorities must delay the reopening of schools until measures are put in place to offset risks of COVID-19 spreading in the schools.
Matome Chiloane, the chairperson of Gauteng Legislature Portfolio Committee on Education, said the committee will not allow the reopening of schools without the cleaning and the disinfecting of all schools in the province as well as the delivery of personal protective equipment.
“The department has not yet provided water tanks to the needy schools and has not started to renovate the ablution facilities in various schools in the province. The department has not demonstrated clear assurances over safety of the learners and teachers and to reopen schools will be suicidal and recipe for disaster,” said Chiloane.
“The committee is not satisfied that the department is ready to re-opened schools nor has finalised precautionary measures to ensure that learners and teachers are safe to return to schools.” Media reports this week said Gauteng and Western are the two provinces that had declared their readiness to reopen their schools. Trade unions in the education sector have also opposed the Department of Basic Education’s initial proposal to resume physical learning and teaching for grade 12 and 7 learners from next month.
Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga said yesterday she will convene a special meeting of all MECs of education to ponder over the progress made so far in the quest to save the academic year.