Mkhize: Schools can't close forever, Covid will still be around in 2021

Mkhize: Schools can't close forever, Covid will still be around in 2021

- Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said schools cannot be closed forever because even in 2021 Covid-19 will still be around

- The minister said the country needs to balance between saving lives and proceeding with the necessary activities

- An education expert, however, said there needs to be a revision of the curriculum

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Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says although there is an increasing number of learners getting infected with Covid-19, schools cannot close forever.

The minister said South Africans have to learn to coexist with the virus.

There have been calls from parents and school bodies for closure of schools amid the rising number of infections.

Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize

Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize
Source: Twitter

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Mkhize said:

"The numbers are going to keep increasing and we’re gonna have Covid-19 till the end of the year, next year there will still be Covid-19, so it is not possible to keep the schools closed all the time.
"There has to be effort to try and return to normality within the restricted conduct of communities who know they have to battle and coexist with a pandemic which is troubling everybody in the whole world."

A number of schools countrywide have also had to close due to positive Covid-19 infections among learners and educators since the schools reopened last month after three months of closure due to the national lockdown, said SABC News. reported that by 27 June, 775 schools were hit by Covid-19. This included 1 169 teachers and 523 students infected. This was only after three weeks of opening for only Grade 7 and 12 learners.

On 6 July, more grades returned to school amid parents' fears of the pandemic.

The South African reported that as schools opened on Monday, 2 740 teachers and 1 260 learners had been infected.

On Monday, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said she was concerned that drop-out rates would spike this year.

Motshekga says while they have put a lot of work into curbing the number of children who drop out of school over the years, the pandemic may reverse the gains made.

READ ALSO: Lesufi: Pupils won't be deregistered if they don't return to school

Education expert at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Professor Labby Ramrathan, believes that if the government sticks to the current education curriculum, targets will not be met.

Ramrathan says the curriculum needs to be looked at and adjusted to suit the uncertain times in the Covid-19 pandemic.

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