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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Cosas Threatens Limpopo School Shutdown Over COVID-19 Concerns


THE Congress of South African Students (COSAS) in Limpopo will be marching to the department of education in the province on Tuesday to hand over a memorandum of grievances to the MEC of Education, Polly Boshielo.

This follows the student organisation’s protest march to the department last week in which Boshielo was unable to receive the memorandum amid allegations that she was attending a portfolio committee meeting.

Some of the grievances to be addressed include examination papers which were originally prepared to be reviewed with the aim of aligning them to the COVID-19 impact and that the department put measures in place if COVID-19 cases are confirmed in schools.

Scalo Mahladisa, COSAS’ provincial secretary, said the students’ movement was of a firm view that the department has never been ready to open schools and that the 3711 schools indicated to be ready for reopening have never been and are still not ready.

“We are informed of the material conditions on the ground.  Over 42 schools did not reopen on a basis of non-compliance to the health protocols.  To date, nothing has been provided to address the anomaly.  Learners of the effected schools are left on their own,” he said.

Mahladisa also said it was common knowledge that many learners in Quintile 1-3 schools depends on school nutrition’s to survive and it should highlight how it is catering for learners from the 42 schools since they live in abject poverty.

“The department should consider them as they are left at home. It is failing to provide enough food for those who are at schools. What will happen because they are bringing more of them,” he asked.

He further said the department will not be able to accommodate other grades as they are in need of more than 46000 classes and that

“PPEs were not enough. Thermometers which were provided are dysfunctional and faulty and those who are using them were not trained,” he added.

We are expecting response to our peremptory from the Limpopo Department of Education within 12 days from receipt hereof.  

During his 2020 supplementary budget speech last week, minister of finance Tito Mboweni announced that all provinces will collectively receive R5 billion for the education catch-up plan.

Ten teachers, three pupils and one supporting staffer are alleged to have tested positive for the COVID-19, while 3 schools have since closed in the province.

At least 963 000 pupils from all other grades in the province are expected to return to school on 6 July.

(Source: Mukurukuru Media)

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