Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has once again expressed concern over the vandalism of schools in the country, saying this will have a negative impact on the implementation of the recovery plan once the COVID-19 lockdown is lifted.
Three-hundred and 97 schools have been vandalised since the start of the nationwide lockdown.
The damage of school property includes torching of schools and the theft of learning and teaching equipment. Nutrition centres are also targets.
“It is really unfortunate that criminals in our communities could destroy the infrastructure of their own children. We applaud the work done by the police and we hope that more arrests will be made. We want to see the arrest and prosecution of every single criminal responsible for this kind of behavior,” says Motshekga.
This has become a state of emergency now: pic.twitter.com/264XRHvNfF
— Elijah Mhlanga (@ElijahMhlanga) April 17, 2020
Forty four suspects have been arrested in Gauteng alone so far and two others in KwaZulu-Natal.
Motshekga has urged communities to work with authorities to bring those responsible to book.
“These criminals must be reported to the police immediately. Let us work together to safeguard the future of our children by exposing these criminal elements.”
Below is a full statement by Minister Motshekga:
Meanwhile, Stellenbosch University Professor Jonathan Jansen says reopening schools will reveal inequalities in our society and exacerbate them.
Jansen has advised that the 2020 academic year be called off due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. He further suggests that schools promote Grade 1 to Grade 11 learners to the next grades, but have a catch-up plan in place.
“One of the consequences of reopening schools is that you will see the inequalities that already exist and they will be exacerbated because while we were away, the 20% of schools in our estimation have continued to have online learning because they have the bandwidth, because they have laptops at home, because they have schools with Google platform facilities and all those kind of things.”
“But for 80% of our kids there are no such facilities available and so to simply reopen as normal is to almost ensure that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. This is just wrong. I don’t think we should try to cram everything we’ve lost until the end of the school year. It will make a bad situation worse,” Jansen adds.
In the video below, Professor Jansen elaborates his views: