South Africa reopened schools for pupils in certain grades after two and a half months of home-schooling to limit the spread of coronavirus.
On Monday, about 95 per cent of schools had reopened. The government had originally intended to reopen schools on June 1 but postponed this to June 8 after finding out that most schools required more time to better prepare facilities and train staff.
Eddie Kekana, Winnie Mandela Secondary School principal told the press: “What we need to do is to make a mechanism of sustainability so this that you see here must not be for today, it is continuous, it must be a way of life.
“It’s the new normal. They’ll have to get used… Every day these soap stations must be there, the kids must know that ‘oh from time to time I have to wash my hands…’”
Mandla Masinga, is a grade 12 student at the school: “Ah, I don’t know, eish, it’s kind of confusing because like when the infection number was low nobody was expected to be at school, but now the number of infections is high and we are expected to be back at school so I don’t think it’s fair.”
Despite the number of COVID-19 cases growing sharply, the government is keen on the phased reopening of public and independent schools, with a cluster of grades returning on July 6 and the last cluster back on August 3.
The country has the continent’s highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases. As of Monday, South Africa had more than 50,000 confirmed cases and 1,080 deaths.
- Confirmed cases = 52,991
- Number of deaths = 1,162
- Recoveries = 29,006
- Active cases = 22,823