Several pickets have taken place outside of schools throughout the province this week as parents and teachers continue their call for schools to be closed until the coronavirus peak has passed. There are grave concerns that since learners were reintegrated into the classroom last month, both teachers and learners have contracted the disease and parents now fear that sending their children to school might not be the best thing to do as the Covid-19 peak looms.
Parents Against the Opening of Schools founder Vanessa Le Roux has spoken out against the reopening of schools prior to the coronavirus.
“It’s not even about the rephasing of learners, it’s about the fact that as poorer schools in destitute communities we will not be able to adequately protect our children and teachers. All we are asking is to reopen schools once the peak has passed not to do away with the entire academic year,” said Le Roux.
“We have asked the department of education to look at alternative ways to ensure quality learning from a distance but that has come to naught,” added Le Roux.
If demands are not met Le Roux said the only choice they are left with is to keep their children at home.
“That will be our call across the province. As a parent it is your responsibility to keep your child safe,” stated Le Roux.
“You keep your building and we will keep our children,” said Le Roux matter-of-factly.
Le Roux added that schools are not on par with the readiness portrayed by the Basic Education Department.
“We have seen how insufficient the PPE’s that are get distributed to these schools and also if they were as ready as they report why would so many teachers be getting infected in the first place,” questioned Le Roux.
She suggested that the WCED are is acting in a cavalier manner solely to save money at the expense of lives within the education fraternity.
“Schools are a dangerous situation at this point and parents should not let their children go into those unsafe spaces ill prepared,” warned Le Roux.
Le Roux further claimed that MEC of Education in the province, Debbie Schaffer has accused of her sabotaging the reopening of schools based on ‘playing politics’.”
“I can’t fathom how I could be accused of playing politics if between the two of us she is the only politician and all I can decry is that she has dismissed the pleas of 80% of parents, teachers and principals in the province,” alleged Le Roux.
Le Roux reiterated that the WCED bring forth plans that will both protect and educate learners simultaneously.