The African National Congress (ANC) welcomes the announcement by the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, on behalf of the National Coronavirus Command Council that schools will reopen for Grade 7 and 10 on the 1st June 2020.
The confirmation of the reopening is important as it provides guidance in terms of the planning that needs to happen as the nation prepares to go to level 3 of the COVID-19 lockdown.
The ANC believes that stringent health and safety measures announced by the Department of Basic Education, including mandatory hygiene protocols to be adhered to by schools are necessary to protect teachers, learners, workers and all those who come into contact with schools.
The success of the safety plans in schools will also depend on the cooperation of stakeholders in the sector, including all citizens, particularly in public spaces such as taxis, buses, trains on the way to work and back.
It is also encouraging that the Department has profiled its workforce to protect employees with comorbidities for their own protection against the COVID-19 infection.
We call on officials who will be handling the process of declaring the pre-existing conditions by their colleagues to take the greatest care and uphold the principles of confidentiality and privacy.
The ANC has also noted with deep concern the continued criminality that is threatening the education of our young people. The vandalism of school cannot go unattended given the escalating number of schools said to have been damaged by criminals.
We call on communities to collaborate with law enforcement agencies to arrest the culprits and bring them to justice. We cannot allow wanton destruction of public assets in this manner especially if it affects negatively the future of young people.
ISSUED BY THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS
071 623 4975