Learning and teaching is continuing at private schools in Limpopo, despite threats of a shutdown made by the Congress of South African Students (Cosas). The organisation announced its plans to shutdown private schools following government’s decision, announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa last week, to close public schools.

Maseala Progressive High School is one of the schools that continued with teaching and learning on Monday. The learners at the school say they welcome the decision by the National Coronavirus Command Council, to exempt private schools from temporary closure.

“For the school not closing I think it is a great opportunity for us because being at home most of us we did not learn anything, it is both an advantage and a disadvantage because we are not safe,” said one learner.

“Private schools at least they can buy sanitisers and help us with the social distancing, yeah we were scared; I mean it is our health when it comes to the part of saying the corona thing has come to our, around our province, we are not sure if we should go to school or not,” added another learner.

The school’s Deputy Principal Abraham Mmethi says there has been levels of anxiety amongst both educators and learners.

“There has been anxiety but the great part is we have tried to do as a school is our time table we have factored in a slot that slot is dedicated to discussing COVID related issues as well as matters and issues that are there on the news that we discuss each day in the morning, we have devoted 30 minutes that is reserved for COVID.”

Mmethi says it is disappointing for Cosas to threaten the closure of private schools.

“It is very unfortunate that Cosas would consider such action, it is very saddening that there are people who still want to threaten the livelihoods of these teachers. I am not saying we come to school because we want, we are contractually obligated to provide a service.”

Cosas in the province has not responded to requests made by SABC News regarding an interview.

Closure of public schools

The decision to close public schools followed mounting pressure on Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, due to the continuing surge in coronavirus infections in the country.

Matrics in public schools will return to classes in a week’s time and grade sevens a week later.

Cosas has previously said their call for all schools to close is motivated by their fight for equal education.