… but parents still sceptical.
More than 440 institutions, including schools, school hostels and offices, in the Northern Cape have been sanitised and are ready for the opening of schools.
The Northern Cape Department of Education spokesperson, Lehuma Ntuane, said in the John Taolo Gaetsewe district, preparations for the re-opening of schools had been completed.
“The Pixley ka Seme and Frances Baard districts are close to being completed. There are only a small number of schools in the Namaqua and ZF Mgcawu districts so preparations on that side are also almost complete,” said Ntuane.
Ntuane said further details pertaining to the resources and other necessities required for the opening of the schools would be outlined by the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, in her scheduled address tonight at 6pm.
Some parents and teachers in the Province have expressed concerns over the opening of schools, stating that the plans from the department may look good on paper but would not work in practical terms.
A parent said classrooms were already full to capacity and social distancing would be impossible to impose at schools.
“There are some schools with more than 30 to 40 children in one classroom. How will the department ensure that children maintain social distancing? Our children will also be very excited to see their friends and there will be hugging and kissing amongst friends. Children play together and sit close to each other during break time. It will be unfair to expect the teachers to sacrifice their break time to ensure children are one metre apart from each other,” she said.
Teachers said there would now be lots of masks in the lost and found at schools.
“Parents know that their children always forget or lose their school uniform. We will now have boxes of lost masks of pupils.
“Pupils are very interactive while some do not understand the seriousness of the disease. They will exchange and lend out their masks to their friends. The younger children will not keep their masks on and the teenagers will definitely have a thousand excuses on why they cannot wear a mask.
“There will be some pupils who will come to school without a mask. Will we be allowed to deny those who are not wearing masks access to the school as those inside the class will complain that they are being exposed?
“As teachers we are worried about the safety of all pupils, as well as our own safety. We know that the department indicated that everyone’s temperatures will be taken and we must keep sanitisers in class to ensure the children are safe. However, this will be a challenging exercise and the department will simply leave it to the teachers to solve,” he said.