South Africa’s five major teacher unions have called for the immediate closure of all schools as coronavirus cases continue to surge.
This, they said, must apply to all grades until the end of August, which is when Covid-19 infections are expected to peak, the Sunday Times reported.
The unions said in a proposal document, that matric students should return on 17 August and that these students should be assisted in various ways while learning from home.
Other grades should only return at the end of August, subject to a review based on the development of the virus, the unions said.
Basic Education minister Angie Motshekga will now discuss these proposals with the cabinet, the paper reports.
Education spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga confirmed to the Sunday Times that a meeting of the Council of Education Ministers took place on Saturday (18 July). He said the the ministers’ engagement will be ‘announced in due course’.
“We wish to reiterate that it is the cabinet that will make the decision on whether schools close or remain open,” he said.
Minister Motshekga said this week that around 16,000 teachers have comorbidities, putting them at greater risk should they contract Covid-19.