A learning specialist has urged learners who are preparing to return to school next week, to practice social distancing and adhere to a strict hand washing regimen.

Grade 12 and 7 learners across the country are due to return to the classroom next Monday.

In the video below, Minister Motshekga announced the dates on school reopening:

Learning specialist, Paul Tosio, says these learners are old enough to act responsibly in a COVID-19 world.

“But given that we are working on a very different calendar in South Africa, I think that the government’s phased in approach is quite a sensible one. Starting with Grades 12 and 7 means that you’ve got two grades who are more mature. So, I suppose what I would say to the students is that there’s a social responsibility that you now carry,”explains Tosio.

Parents worried

Some parents in the sprawling township of Majwemasweu in Brandfort, in the Free State, have vowed to reject any plan by the Department of Basic Education to reopen primary schools.

Brandfort has been battling with chronic water shortages and parents say they fear that their children may contract the coronavirus.

“In terms of our children, it’s not safe at all. I really don’t think it’s a good idea for our children to go back to school it’s not safe for us. The water was an issue from the beginning in Brandfort. It has always been an issue so children going back to school it’s clear an aspect that we can’t overlook it poses a danger,” says one parent.

Free State Human Rights Commission Manager, Thabang Kheswa, has appealed to the Basic Education Department to ensure that the school environment is conducive for learning.

“Water is very important in the fight against COVID-19. We can’t have a school that is operating without adequate access to water for learners. As the South African Human Rights Commission we will be embarking on monitoring processes ensuring that the department is responsible for ensuring there is water in all schools,” Kheswa says.

The graph below is the Department of Education’s Back To School Plan: