The School Support Center (SOS) rejected the unexpected and inexplicable postponement of contact education by Angie Motshekga, Minister of Basic Education.
According to the SOS, the decision does not serve the best interest of learners and teachers. The democratically elected governing bodies of schools should have the right to decide on school reopening with school management teams, said Melanie Buys, head of development at the SOS.
“They know the circumstances of their schools and know best what is in the interest of their learners and teaching staff. The SOS does not believe that the centralization of decision-making and central planning by the Minister of Education makes it possible to make the best decision in the interest of each school’s learners and school communities. For that reason, the circumstances of each school and area differ too much. “
According to Buys, the minister should only lay down policy guidelines such as health measures that each school should adhere to. Thereafter, it should be left to school governing bodies to apply the policy, taking into account their particular circumstances.
“The experience of other countries where schools have been reopened systematically confirms that the time and circumstances for resuming education can be best determined by local conditions. These include the level of infections in the area, the health measures that schools have ready, the screening and testing of learners and teachers, the risk profile of the teachers, plans for regular disinfection of buildings and the readiness to introduce social distance measures. “
The SOS has drawn up a phased return plan for schools that can be tailored to each school’s circumstances following health legislation and best practices that have been successful in other countries.
“The SOS believes this will ensure that the health of learners and teaching staff is prioritized, and that it will be possible to resume teaching safely and soundly. Several dedicated schools already have plans to resume contact education in a safe and healthy way. “
Melanie Buys, Head of Development at the School Support said the SOS is extremely concerned about the department’s proposal that gr. Only 12 pupils can return to school in June and decided to broadcast The Cloud School’s live broadcasts for Gr. Extend 12 learners to May 15. “This is how the SOS can help teachers to ensure that matriculants stay up to date with their studies.”