The address by the President to close schools until the 24th of August suggests that local infections will be lower.

According to the WHO, schools should reopen once the local infections of Covid 19 are lowered and manageable. The confusing address by the President reveals yet another crack within the Basic Education sector.

Local infections have only begun to spike.

South Africa is only just begun to witness spike in infections locally. The peak is said to be in August and September; reopening schools in August does not make sense according to the projected peak time.

What scientific proof that 24th August is the date in which local infections would have lowered and kept under control? To throw a reopening date without adequate explanation is rather unfortunate and uninformed.

It seems like the government officials are playing political games with people’s lives. People who called for schools to close did not do it for any political victories; they took a stand because teachers and learners were dying of Covid 19 in schools.

For the highest office to get a piece of paper to read to the nation is the lowest form of uninspired leadership. Our President had no conviction into anything he told the nation.

Sadly the school environment will remain the same until the 24th of August.

Angie Motshekga engineered.

Minister Angie Motshekga was warned on several occasions not to reopen schools before the virus peak. Her arrogance drove her to side with most white schools who enjoy better conditions to cope with the pandemic.

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Her arrogance has resulted in number of learners and educators dying and one learner raped. This is the Crash landing TMS editor spoke about in May.

The current mess in schools is engineered by lack of leadership, arrogance and ignorance within the Basic Education sector.

The failings in the Basic Education leadership should not be allowed to continue any further if education is as important as Tata Nelson Mandela proclaimed it to be.

The Minister and her officials have not taken any responsibility for the mess they willingly created. Hundreds of thousands of learners have been put at the worst possible position by the Department officials playing politics.

What now?

Local infections

The 4 weeks announced by the President is neither here nor there; it does not say that after 4 weeks Covid 19 local infections would have subsided and manageable. He just read a piece of paper and mumbled his way through the speech.

For the Department of Basic Education, this is an opportunity to show that they are passionate about education not about politics.

This is not a time for them to go quiet. The same energy used to drive teachers and learners to their graves in the last 2 months must be used to revamp the remote learning program.

In as much as the Department is providing services to 13 million learners, a number understably overwhelming, but an effort to reach these learners will never hurt anyone.

Each community has teachers living amongst them. Teaching can continue in smaller groups at home. With one teacher assisting learners with the remote learning program.

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Remote learning program is futuristic because if another virus breakout in the near future, resources to learn in isolation would be available.

Improving this program will not only work during pandemics, but it will assist girl children who normally miss school due to pregnancy or periods. They can now learn remotely at home without missing out on that particular school year.

R400 Million tablets leasing.

Local infections

This R400 Million tablets leasing corruption in the Eastern Cape should not be viewed as simply corruption. Yes it needs to be addressed and rooted out of our system; but also it shows that the Department of Basic Education can make means to provide for remote learning.

The Department must look towards this solution. For the longest time 4IR has been on every South African’s mouth. When the Pandemic hit in March many companies were thrusted to the 4IR. The Department of Higher Education embraced it and moved safely to save the academic year. Basic Education Department decided not to embrace the 4IR and people lost their lives.

This must be the window of opportunity for government to implement futuristic programs in schools, remote learning using the 4IR is the answer.

Local infections will not be low in August; government has lost control of the spread of the virus. Hopefully Angie and her team focus on long term solutions, but don’t hold any breath on that.

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