The department issued a circular to all schools informing them that no form of matric dance-related activities will be allowed.
THE NORTHERN Cape Department of Education is remaining firm in its resolve that no matric dances or farewell activities will be allowed.
This is after parents have been swept up into a frenzy of finger-pointing, accusing some schools of ignoring instructions and going ahead with planned activities.
“All schools received a circular from the department stating that matric dances and farewells would not be allowed this year. Parents, who had paid money in for these activities were refunded by the school,” one irate parent said.
He added that despite these instructions, however, some schools were going ahead with their planned activities.
“One local high school is having a ‘drive through’ matric dance. If this school can organise a farewell function that is in keeping with the criteria of the Level 1 restrictions, why can’t other schools do the same?” he questioned.
The parent pointed out that a child’s matric farewell was often the highlight of the pupil’s school career.
“This has been taken away from them and it is something that they will never be able to experience again. There is no logical reason for them not to have some sort of function, which can be properly planned to limit the spread of the virus.
“Once again it is an illogical decision being imposed by the government.”
He pointed out that parents had already paid out large sums of money in anticipation.
“The matrics were originally supposed to have their farewell functions during the first term, which was before Covid-19 broke out, so many had already bought outfits for this special event in their child’s life. That money has now gone to waste.”
Northern Cape Department of Education spokesperson Lehuma Ntuane said yesterday that it was incorrect that there were schools that were organising matric dance events.
“The department issued a circular to all schools informing them that no form of matric dance-related activities will be allowed,” said Ntuane.
He pointed out that at Upington High School, parents organised a matric dance for their children at their own accord and expense. This activity did not in any way involve the school or the department.”
Ntuane said further that the department distanced itself from any matric dance-related activities organised by parents.
“All schools have been made aware of what is permitted and what is not permitted. We are aware that Diamantveld High is planning a drive-through ‘matric dance’ event. We want to reiterate that this is not permissible and not allowed. The school is instructed to abort all plans relating to any form of matric dance-related activities otherwise any plan or activity will be in bridge and contravention of the pronouncement by the Minister of Basic Education.”
Meanwhile, following a statement made by the Western Cape MEC for Education, Debbie Schäfer, that matric pupils who test positive during exams will not be able to write them this year, the Northern Cape Department of Education indicated that the provincial MEC would pronounce on this matter during the State of Readiness on November 2, 2020.
Following the cluster of Covid-19 infections linked to a Cape Town bar, the Western Cape provincial government has called on youth and businesses to play their part in staying safe.
The outbreak of 63 cases was linked to a club in the southern suburbs of Cape Town. Half of the infected are reportedly matric pupils.
“Given that these cases were predominantly seen to by private sector facilities, the Western Cape Department of Health was alerted by general practitioners in the area that a pattern had emerged around residents of a similar age,” Premier Alan Winde said on Wednesday.
Winde said they have since learnt that the lockdown regulations and safety protocols were breached.
“The people involved didn’t behave in a way that was needed to keep themselves and others safe, by either not wearing their masks properly or not at all, or by attending large gatherings, where distancing and ventilation is difficult or even impossible.”
The provincial government has since instituted a full investigation into the club in question. The SAPS and the Western Cape Liquor Authority are also part of the investigation.