Schools are set to reopen towards the end of January; the reopening of schools comes amidst the second wave of Covid-19. It is said that the second wave is highly contagious; unlike the first Corona virus which spared children/young people, the current wave is said to be prominent in children and young people.
Schools reopening became a huge debate between parents, teacher unions and the Department of Basic Education. Regardless of the failure by the DBE to take into their confidence those who were opposed to the idea; they went ahead with the reopening of schools.
2021 schools reopening
Fast forward to January 2021, South Africa is grappling with a second wave of the virus which saw the country moved back to the level 3 lockdown.
The second wave is allegedly due to the super spreader events across the country leading up to the Christmas and New Year’s. Of the notable super spreader events that were held was the end of school bash in Durban. Almost all learners who attended this bash tested positive for Covid-19.
Many teachers died in 2020; learners had to cope with death all around them, at home and at school.
According to reports, 1600 teachers have since died of Covid in December alone. Recently National Teachers Union (NATU) Mr. Allen Thompson died of Covid. Matric marking is disturbed as Covid cases keep rising at the marking centers with 3 teachers having died already.
Yet again the Department of Basic Education insist on reopening of schools as planned. Not much has been highlited on improved school environment to make it more safe.
The Department is not held accountable for countless negligence in schools which has added immensely to the spread of the virus.
How many deaths have been a direct result of a learner bringing the virus home from school? Teachers have died and currently the Matric marking may need to stop due to the Covid.
The question is, we are in the wave of new type of Covid virus which affects kids, is this really the time to continue with the reopening of schools?
The Department does not seem to be interested in improving schools and ensuring that they are safest places for learning.
It would be interesting to see how will parents react to the news.