Civil rights group #NotInMyName has expressed its intention to hold a picket against the reopening of schools for Grade 7 and 12 learners next week.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has reassured parents that they will not be forced to send their children back to school amid the level three lockdown, starting 1 June.

In the video below, President Ramaphosa addresses the nation:

#NotInMyName secretary general, Themba Masango, says despite there being a need for the school syllabus to resume, it is more important to save lives amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“There is definitely a strong case to reopen the schools and there is a strong case to keep the schools closed and making sure that we have kids alive … and have an academic year at a later stage. We feel the opening of schools is a little too rushed at the moment.”

“We have no problem with people wanting to go back to school and we would desire, if conditions were right, for every child to go back to school, however it is a little too rushed,”explains Masango.

Click below to listen to Masango’s interview:

Learners urged to practice social distancing as schools reopen

Meanwhile, 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.

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.

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