The National Association of Parents in School Governance has called for the immediate shut down of schools that do not have the necessary coronavirus Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). It has emerged that some masks distributed to learners are of poor quality and do not meet the standards set out by the National Department of Health.
The department has recommended that South Africans use three-layered cloth masks. Schools reopened for Grades 7 and 12 learners on Monday.
In the video below, South Africans share their views on schools reopening:
The Association has lambasted Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga accusing her of disregarding the lives of children.
“We are very disappointed that our children are subjected to the poor quality of masks that are supposed to be used to protect them as part of the Personal Protective Equipment. They have taken short cuts, just like they have taken short cuts with the reopening of schools without listening to views. In the meantime, every school that does not comply, that does not have PPEs, must be shut down immediately until PPEs can be provided,” says President of the Association, Mahlomola Kekana.
Application to challenge reopening of schools rejected
Earlier, the High Court in Pretoria rejected an application brought by Educators Union of South Africa (EUSA) which is challenging the decision to reopen schools.
The union wanted the court to set aside a decision to reopen schools by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. It argues that the threat posed by COVID-19 is significant and returning to school poses a greater threat to learners and educators.
The High Court rejected the application on the fact that the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Education MECs were not included in the application and that EUSA’s application has been made after schools have reopened.
Meanwhile, in a statement, EUSA says the court’s reasoning does not make sense because their application was made before schools reopened and there was a postponement by the court.
“This does not make sense as the parties had the right and opportunities to join the application if they had interest. We saw no reason to include the Cogta Minister and MECs because we were not challenging the lockdown regulations or the Disaster Management Act. We were challenging the reckless and deadly decision by Basic Minister Angie Motshekga.”
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