The Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, this week announced amended regulations that stipulate that no pre-gr. R learners on July 6 may not return to school.
Under the previous regulations, learners at schools registered with the Department of Basic Education could return to school next week.
Nursery schools and day care centers registered with the Department of Social Development still have no idea when schools will reopen for the children because the Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, has not announced a date for this.
A court case on the reopening of these early childhood development centers is currently underway in the Pretoria High Court between the department, the School Support Center (SOS) and Solidarity’s Social Workers Guild.
Alexandra Abrahams, a DA member of the Social Development Portfolio Committee, says the minister’s sudden turnaround is apparent because she has no authority to make an announcement about the sector’s reopening.
Although some centers for early childhood development and gr. R connected to schools, only Zulu can decide when the industry as a whole may reopen. Abrahams says this means that Zulu is once again holding the reopening of this important sector.
“She has already caused great frustration as she continues to waver about announcing a date for private early childhood development centers to reopen.”
According to Abrahams, it is unacceptable that Zulu play games with the education, development and safety of children who rely on the centers and still get away with it. The DA says the minister is simply not mastering and is unable to act in the best interests of those she is supposed to serve.
“Min. Zulu’s disdain and arrogance about the centers plunged the sector into crisis and many centers had to make the difficult decision to close their doors. “
The DA has pres. Cyril Ramaphosa now intervenes and says the longer Zulu stays in her post, the more damage she will do.
Marisa Engelbrecht, sector head of Solidarity’s Social Workers Guild, described the latest decision as irresponsible.
“This is very confusing. The Minister of Education has now created even more confusion at schools and among parents after great preparations have been made to take children back. ”
Meanwhile, there is still no judgment in the guild and the SOS’s application against the department. After the department initially indicated that it would oppose the application, but when no supporting documents were submitted, the minister did decide on Tuesday night to respond, Engelbrecht said.
She says at this stage teachers’ right to work is being deprived of them, while children’s rights to get the necessary stimulation for their development are also being deprived. In addition, many children are dependent on school nutrition programs and are now not even getting a proper plate of food.
“The minister tasked with the social welfare of the country is aggravating the crisis.”