Civil rights organisation, Action Society, has called President Cyril Ramaphosa not to postpone the 2021 school year.
This came after Ramaphosa said on Monday evening there was an “understandable concern” about the reopening of schools in the midst of a second wave of Covid-19 infections.
“Each school’s circumstances are different. Therefore they must be granted the opportunity to decide for themselves how they will organise and handle the Covid-19 situation to benefit both learners and teachers.
“Many lessons to overcome obstacles have been learned during the 2020 lockdown period and schools and their respective governing bodies should rather be given the opportunity to take this decision based on their own merits,” said Action Society spokesperson Daleen Gouws in a statement.
The organisation said it was aware that many pupils did not have access to internet, smartphones or printers for distance learning.
“It is also in these communities where a day at school means access to that child’s only meal for the day,” said Gouws.
According to the organisation, the economy was already struggling and only a few parents could afford nannies and caregivers.
“Children are forced to stay at home alone while parents go to work. Often they are left in the unreliable care of individuals who abuse them.
“We understand that it is a complex decision to consider all the risks at stake. Our priority, however, is the welfare and safety of school-going children,” she said.
Compiled by Reitumetse Makwea