Schools reopening a growing concern

A number parents in Soweto have called on the government to postpone the reopening of schools, scheduled for February 15, this to avoid a spike in covid-19 infections. With so many questions around the schools reopening, many parents don’t know how to prepare their kids for the upcoming year.

Soweto sunrise news spoke to several parents about their fears and expectations ahead of 2020 academic year. Despite the fears and concerns, some parents support the return of children to school.

Lesego Mokoena, a single parent and resident of Meadowlands, mentioned that she is terrified her child could contract covid-19. “Its a headache for us because people are dying left, right and centre, but we just have to hope for the better.” Added Mokoena.

Another parent, Florence Nzimande made a comment that; “I’m not sending my children to school until I’m certain that they won’t come back sick”.

Azania Rasisila, mentioned that she doesn’t feel it’s safe to send children back to school. The mother of three, whose partner is a key worker said; “I just feel our representatives are being completely ignorant to this situation,”concluded Rasisila.

Teachers are also feeling uneasy about going back into the classroom amid the corona virus pandemic. Another teacher who preferred anonymity wrote; “If we maintain social distancing in class and wear face masks at all times, but the issue of discipline, since learners do not want to adhere to the rules, our infrastructure fails us as we are not able to comply with the regulations and learners have to rotate and we cannot expose them to the full curriculum.”

“The department of education has to restructure the curriculum to include the work that was not covered in the previous year and the work that has to be covered in the current year. Teachers find it hard to re-mediate, one solution is for teachers and learners to use virtual classes, more teachers have to be employed to reinforce the work force. Then there is a question of skills shortage, for instance we do not have enough teachers for indigenous languages.”

While parents, students and teachers have varying opinions on whether it’s a good idea to reopen schools, most agree that home learning last year was a disaster.

Thapelo Magola Soweto Sunrise News

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