UNICEF calls on government to reopen schools on Monday

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The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in South Africa has advised the government to reopen schools on Monday. UNICEF says failure to reopen schools will continue to disadvantage the poorest of the poor.

On Saturday, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga told the media that her department was ready to reopen schools on Monday.

However, she says President Cyril Ramaphosa, who will address the country on Sunday evening, has the final say. Ramaphosa will address the nation on  South Africa’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Reopen the schools, taking into account that the most vulnerable who are the poorest will be the hardest hit by continued school closures. Let them get the children back to school because they also know how to protect themselves,” says UNICEF South Africa’s chief of education, Wycliff Otieno.

UNICEF says thousands of learners have dropped out of school over the last 16-months.

“UNICEF calls on all stakeholders to ‘Reimagine Education’ to help regain the ground lost, by taking advantage of emerging technologies to accelerate education service delivery, while focusing on equity and broader partnerships for greater impact,” notes UNICEF in a statement.



Video | Minister Angie Motshekga briefs media on state of readiness for the reopening of schools