- The Economic Freedom Fighters have called for citizens to boycott the reopening of schools
- The party is adamant that the Department of Education has failed to make adequate provisions to ensure the safety of students and teachers alike
- This comes just days before the first batch of students is set to return for the first time since the State of Disaster was declared in March
The Economic Freedom Fighters have addressed the plan to reopen schools amid the Covid-19 pandemic next week, adamant that the education system is simply not ready.
In a statement issued on Friday, the party insisted that allowing students to return this early on remains a pretty bad idea:
"The Economic Freedom Fighters maintains that all schools in the Basic Education Sector are not ready to reopen and operate during the Covid-19 pandemic. Over the past few days, EFF public representatives have been conducting oversight of schools across the country, and all assessments point to the fact that reopening schools in the midst of increasing Covid-19 infections is a reckless risk of the lives of learners and teachers."
Briefly.co.za reported that there had been some last-minute confusion when Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga had decided to postpone the planned reopening of schools by another week.
The EFF noted this 'confusion' and took it as a clear indication that the government was making the wrong call:
"All that we see is confusion by the Ministry of Education, which is offering no concrete solutions or progress reports on school readiness. The minister schedules press conferences and postpone them, and so many have been postponed so far, which is a sign that she has run out of ideas."
The EFF claims that schools which were visited by representatives were woefully behind when it came to critical Covid-19 preparations:
"In all the schools where our members have conducted oversight, there are no PPEs, and in cases where they have been provided, there is still a shortage. A school with learner enrolment of more than a thousand is given one thermometer to screen learners and teachers. The disposable masks provided are only to assist learners for one day, and not enough have been supplied for the whole month. The department does not want to take total responsibility."
The EFF is adamant that teachers, learners and all those involved should totally boycott the reopening of schools, commenting that:
"The EFF maintains that all teachers, learners, parents, principals and communities must boycott the reopening of schools while there are no measures in place to protect the lives of children. South African families must not allow their children to be used as experiments in the face of deadly virus while the leaders of this country cowardly hide in their homes and run the country on digital platforms."
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