Some learners at Sebayeng village outside Polokwane in Limpopo have expressed mixed feelings about the imminent reopening of schools.

Schools in the village and several surrounding villages have been opened, with teachers sighted inside.

Some schools have received boxes of masks and sanitisers for grade 7 and 12 learners as well as educators.

Educators union, South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) in the province, earlier said its members would only report for duty when the provincial Education Department had met all safety standards.

Some learners say they are ready to catch-up on lost time, while others fear that returning to school exposes them to contracting the deadly coronavirus.

“I feel happy because going to school is something that we have wanted. We don’t know [whether other pupils] will come with coronavirus at school. The virus will spread and it is why I say we must not go back to school,” say some pupils.

The learners add that individuals and local businesses should work with government to ensure that schools in rural areas are continuously disinfected.

“They don’t take this rural [area] serious. They don’t take us serious in this village. I think the department will not afford to take [provide] masks and sanitizers to the schools. I think they will work only if they send people to our homes to ask for donations.”

In the video below, Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga briefs the media on the reopening of schools:

Motshekga says that a safe school environment is in the interest of all stakeholders in the sector.