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[LISTEN] Naptosa’s Basil Manuel outlines major issues faced by schools amid COVID-19

Jun 25, 2020

Husain Mohamed – 25/06/2020

While several schools were already forced to close its doors again after Grades 7 and 12 learners returned to school on the 8th of June, all indications are that more grades will return to school on the 6th of July.

Schools have been closed since the lockdown was instituted to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Schools partially reopened on 8 June for grades 7 and 12, but many were forced to close again after learners and educators tested positive for Covid-19. Gauteng Premier David Makhura announced on June 11 that 52 schools had been affected by 56 cases across the province.

Unions are cautioning that schools will feel mounting pressure with the return of other grades in the coming weeks.

Speaking to Radio Islam, Basil Manuel, the executive director of the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of SA (Naptosa) says that it is no surprise that high school students are contracting the virus. Manuel says at the same time, the school year can’t be lost.

“The question is, what are the options? Can the option be to summarily shut schools for an indeterminable period? The answer is obviously, it can’t be.”

He adds that they are in a very difficult position

“So we are sitting in the proverbial ‘rock in a hard place’, because whatever we do has serious consequences.”

Authorities have implemented various safety measures, including temperature checks at school gates and making it mandatory for students to wear face masks and observe physical distancing. Schools have also been told to put up sanitizer dispensers at different places on their premises.


Listen to the full interview with Basil Manuel here:

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