Mmusi Maimane has drawn up an online petition urging South Africans to stand up against a “dangerous and risky gamble with the lives of young people”.
“In light of the increasing cases of Covid-19 infections, the decision by the minister of basic education Angie Motshekga to reopen all schools on June 1 is a risky,” said Maimane in the petition.
Now chief activist of One South Africa Movement, Maimane accuses the department of hurrying the reopening of schools.
By Friday afternoon, the petition had garnered more than 115 000 signatures, with a target of 150 000.
“As a father and uncle, I disagree with this rushed and ill-advised decision.
“Therefore I am calling on all South Africans – including teachers, parents, principals and SGBs – to make their voices heard on this matter of national importance,” adds Maimane.
Meanwhile, according to Student360 sister publication IOL, the DA welcomed the education minister’s announcement and said schools that were not ready to provide protective equipment to its learners and teachers should be barred from reopening on June 1.
According to DA MP Belinda Bozzoli, if parents are doubtful of sending their children to school and are able to take up the responsibility of homeschooling their children, they should do it.
However, working class parents and those who don’t have a teaching or education background, would have to consider their children repeating the year, said Bozzoli
In a joint media statement, teacher unions Sadtu, Naptosa, SAOU, Natu and PEU said they had found that most schools were not ready to reopen.
Some schools reported they had not received regulations on how to deal with health and safety issues, some reported their circuit manager had not been in touch with them, while most reported that their offices and classrooms had not yet been cleaned and sanitised.