KZN schools are ready to reopen says MEC

a school classroom.

Grades 6 and 11 returned to schools on Monday and more learners are expected to re-join school by next month. Photo: Matthew Jordaan

The reopening of KZN schools goes ahead as planned as Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu has given the green light.

Mshengu believes that schools across the province are ready to resume classes amid unhappiness from some teachers and parents. Grades 7 and 12 will return to school with their teachers returning before that.

The KZN department of education said a number of schools were sanitised and more will be done before June 1.

He added that his department has procured essentials needed for the reopening of schools and will issue two masks per learner and teacher. The MEC visited schools in the King Cetshwayo district where water tankers were delivered.  

Hand wash stations and water supplies

Mtshengu said his department ensured that schools in the King Cetshwayo district, who were running short of water supplies, are able to install water tankers and hand wash stations ahead of the reopening.

“I am happy with the progress made so far and are installing hand wash stations in all schools across the province. There will be five stations at every school. There is also a clear demarcation to ensure physical distance with the delivery of PPEs and other essentials across the province”.

Fear and uncertainty

A Durban teacher who goes back to work says she isn’t ready.

“There is no vaccine, immunity or cure for this virus and if I were to contract it, I would die. No discussions or guidance given to educators on dealing with Covid-19. The minister acted hastily in asking schools to reopen in the middle of a pandemic, while it is not even safe to travel or buy cigarettes. I would rather have a child repeat a grade than have a child in the grave.”

A Durban matric student said although she is excited to return to school, she is anxious about contracting the virus.

“We dont want to lose this year but losing lives is not an option. Saving the school year is of great importance, but parents should not have to choose and endanger their children’s lives. Losing lives would cost a country its future. The cons outweigh the pros of returning to school and I believe scrapping the school year will be beneficial to everyone.”

Many share mixed sentiments but the MEC says it’s back to school for grades 7 and 12 from June 1.