The board of education ministers says it is considering legal action against organizations that use schools as a political game and disrupt education.
The Department of Basic Education says in a statement the board met on Friday morning to discuss the developments since the second group of pupils returned to schools on Monday.
Pupils in Gr. R, art. 6 and gr. 11 returned the week after schools already on June 8 for matrics and gr. 7 pupils reopened. Schools that comply with the Covid-19 regulations may also allow pupils to return to other grades.
According to the statement, the council was disappointed and upset by the ongoing efforts by political and civilian organizations to disrupt teaching.
“These organizations threatened teachers and pupils, others went to court, failed to stop the reopening, and are now determined to use threats and disruptions to achieve their intended goals.”
Cosas is one of the organizations that has tried to close many schools. Mmusi Maimane and his movement, One South Africa Movement, as well as the trade union Eusa, tried among other things to contest the reopening of the schools in court. All of these applications were rejected.
The council called on the organizations to contact their political counterparts and authorities instead.
“These are the appropriate routes to address their concerns and complaints, and not our centers for teaching and development. The unfolding political game does not belong in schools. “
The council says it is regrettable that schools are used for this, while the department is working to create a safe environment for teaching during the Covid 19 pandemic.
“If the deplorable actions do not stop, we have no choice but to exercise our options under the Schools Act to make sure we protect the rights and interests of our schools, educators, pupils and parents,” said Angie Motshekga, Minister of Education basic education, in the statement.
“The council indicated that education has resumed with good progress, the pupils have been well received and many schools have made a concerted effort to prepare according to the appropriate disinfection, health and safety measures to welcome the pupils back,” reads the statement.
According to Motshekga, the organizations do not recognize the department’s efforts to provide alternative options for parents who do not want to send their children back to school. One of the options for parents of children who have underlying health conditions is to register for homeschooling.
The council says it does not exclude the possibility of going to court and seeking protection from those who impede tuition.