Grade 7 and matric pupils have arrived at schools across the country for the first day back in the classroom in almost three months.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on Sunday said the majority of schools nationwide were ready to open and the 5% that were not were getting organised.
She’s also assured anxious pupils and parents that safety measures are in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Isipho Primary School in Soweto will welcome grade 7 pupils after almost three months of no contact learning.
There are desks at the entrance to Isipho Primary where pupils write their names and temperatures and then fill in a form with COVID-19 related questions.
But this mother said she was still nervous especially because parents were not allowed on the premises.
“I wanted to come and see for myself because they didn’t alert us that the school would be sanitised but I didn’t see anything.”
One woman said she hesitated about sending her son back but had no other choice.
“It’s a bit difficult for me to keep track of him because, at times when I am not around, he just wanders around and does his own thing. It’s when I’m home when I can assist. If I’m not, it’s a problem. At times, data is a problem.”
The ban on visitors at schools is leading to frustration on Monday morning with many parents who want to check what measures are in place to safeguard their children being turned away.
Parents have been accompanying their children to school in Dlhamini but only up until the gate at Isipho Primary.
According to the principal, Motshekga specifically said during her briefing on Sunday that no visitors were allowed on school premises.
But one mother said it was important for her to see the classroom her son will be sitting in
“My child has got asthma, so I want to see what the classes looked like”
She said she would not bring her son to school until she was allowed an inspection.
Another guardian said she was angry that the principal stopped her at the gate: “I’ll be here at 13:55, I want to check the toilets.”
Both parents said they would be back on Monday afternoon demanding to see the measures put in place to safeguard their children.
No curriculum learning will take place on Monday, instead, pupils will be taught about COVID-19.
Meanwhile, over 6,000 schools in KwaZulu-Natal are preparing to open their doors.
But the school governing body at Mzuvele High said it was disappointed by what it called poor service delivery from the provincial government.
Mzuvele High is among the over 400 schools that were vandalised in the province during the lockdown.
The school governing body now said it planned to submit a memorandum of demands to provincial government authorities before other grades return.
The school governing body said not much had been repaired at this school despite promises by government officials.
Chairperson Bongani Khumalo said they had been forced to take initiative after the department failed to deliver.
Meanwhile, Kwazulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala said contractors had been appointed to address infrastructure problems at this school and two others that were recently vandalised.
The premier said repairs were expected to commence next Monday.
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