- A looming cabinet reshuffle could be behind Angie Motshekga's haste decision to reopen schools amid the Covid-19 pandemic
- Motshekga has come under fire after the country was left confused after she postponed her Sunday press briefing
- The minister has shifted the blame to provinces
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has come under fire for her department's actions that left millions of South Africans confused.
Motshekga initially announced that on 1 June, Grade 7 and 12 learners will return to school and government will reopen in attempt to save the school calendar.
In the days leading up to the planned reopening on 1 June, Motshekga said only schools that had implemented the required health and safety precautions would reopen. This would have meant that many schools that have not met this requirement would not open or would open risk the lives of many by opening.
Motshekga also postponed a press briefing that was scheduled for Sunday night to Monday morning. This left millions across the country confused as learners were due to return to school on that Monday morning.
As a result of this uncertainty, most learners stayed at home on Monday and only school staff turned up at most schools across the country. However, a few private schools in the Western Cape reopened for learning on Monday.
Motshekga then announced on Monday that learners would only return to school the following, the 8 of June. In her press briefing, she said:
"I was forced into a number of consultations with a number of key stakeholders with a direct interest in basic education, resulting in challenges to continue with the press briefing we had planned"
An allegedly pending cabinet reshuffle could be behind Angie Motshekga's decision to reopen schools despite multiple warnings from experts and unions.
Briefly.co.za reported that a number of unions are taking the government to court over the decision to open schools.
Motshekga apologized for the confusion, saying she was "very very sorry". However, she later shifted the blame to provinces saying they are to blame for not being ready for the opening.
The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the cracks in a lot of departments and highlighted the incompetencies of a number of government officials who are now doing everything to appear as if they are doing their jobs.
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