Fri, Jan 21, 2022

Theft at schools, cause for concern

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by Rapule Moiloa

The pandemic and lockdown gave an opportunity to thieves to to break in to schools and steal school properties worth thousands since the beginning of the announcement of lockdown early these year.

Mofolo higher primary school in Evaton in the Vaal is one school that thiefs has been helping themselves with school properties like computers etc and school classes are vandalized these has brought a delay for learners to go back to school.

These criminal activities kept the children from attending school because of the current situation in that school to date learners have not gone back to school.

What is good is the school is now been fixed so that learners can be able to go back to school when the construction is complete

Inequality in the education sector

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By Mmabore Mogashoa

It is now September and school children have started attending classes. As per Covid-19 rules and regulations, children should maintain social distancing in a classroom. Schools in the rural areas had to divide children into groups because classrooms are not enough. Some children go to school on Monday to Wednesday, while Grade 7 and Grade R go to school for 5 days. I was speaking to a child who attend school for children with disabilities and he said they haven’t started attending classes yet. This shows that children are not receiving equal education. It is time for leaders, communities and businesses to work together. Government should do proper planning so that schools can have enough classrooms, teachers and the right equipment. No one knows when the pandemic will end and is a risk as children are getting bored and end up in the village streets.

School food handlers

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By Rapule Moiloa

School food handlers have been in the front line since covid 19 Cases and lock down and when schools opened and closed i have been at work.

My name is Dikeledi and my work at the school is cooking for learners at a higher primary school in Palmsprings.

Myself and other who ladies who are parents as well with kids in the same school, like everyone working there are problems experienced at work, the problem is the environment we in the kitchen does not have a sink where we can wash used dishes and we must go out to use the outside taps and the kitchen walls are dirty although we have escalated the problem with the sgb but still no answer.

We use gas stove to boil water and to prepare food for the learners and we are given one uniform that needs to be washed, another problem is how parents organize their kids wnen coming to school.

Learners are send to school with dirty lunch boxes for food, as parents we must not take care only of our kids but other kids.

We wash their lunch boxes so that we can dish up for them in a clean container because we must put aside a portion of the days meal so that the food can be tested for food poisoning.

Cooking for learners and having to protect ourselves from the pandemic its a challenge for we don’t have enough ppe’s so these is a risk for us and the children and I think women rights are undermined

So many unanswered questions regarding SA schools opening

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By Mmabore

All grades are back to school with other children going to school in different days to adhere to lockdown rules. Some schools in rural areas were closed since lockdown with no communication between teachers and learners. Most of the learners started getting school work in August 2020 while other school children in urban areas or private schools had school work since March 2020 taking advantage of technology. As per Department of Education there won’t be pass one pass all. What does that mean? Are certain chapters going to be skipped? Will school children be overloaded with work? Will the children be able to cope until exams? Will the teachers and children be able to cover the syllabus? What will the results of those children who started school in August look like? Will this affect children from disadvantaged backgrounds badly? Are teachers in rural areas overloaded with work too? What are the teachers organisation say? Will this inequality end? Will this affect parents too?

Reopening of schools. Have stakeholders been consulted

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by Amo Tshabalala

Minister Angie Motshekga’s call of resuming the school on the 01 June 2020 has been received with mixed feelings and so many questions have been raised. The country has just conducted around 500 thousand tests which a very small proportion of the total population. Has the decision been made after wide consultations? We are always preaching the consultation gospel but the government is not paying heed to the calls. This simply means that we are being told what to do and our views do not matter. Looking at the rate the virus is spreading and the death toll so far it i worrying for children to go back to school. Let us work together and make South Africa a better place to be and to shine to.

stayhomeandbesafe.

Are we ready for opening schools?

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I have been asking myself questions regarding Grade 7 learners going back to school, are teachers ready to welcome the learners or even teach, what are the ways that will be used for teaching, will learners share text books, is their safety guaranteed? What is also worrying is that the Parliament is not still closed yet learners are asked to go back to school. Meanwhile, Welamlambo Public School is a higher primary school in Tembisa at Welamlambo section and passing by on 1 June, I realised that only disinfection taking place and chairs and tables were put out side to have them cleaned. This is despite the claim that schools in Gauteng are ready to open but that’s not what on the ground and I strongly feel that it is a grave miscalculation for learners to go back to school as there is are no measures yet to quarantee maximum safety for learners and teachers.

Mixed feelings over reopening of schools

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by Rapule Moiloa

Interacting with someone regarding school reopening in South Africa to hear her views and how she feels about her kid going back to school I realised that some parents feel that in as far as they dont want their children to miss out on their studies, they are worried about their safety as the number of coronavirus cases continue to rise. She said that it is very unfortunate that the pandemic has put a stop not only on education but everything so all she could say is that it is not yet safe for children to go back to school.

On another note…people have different ways of understanding the same thing and it’s problematic. I have realised that in many places a lot of people do not have the same understanding of social distancing. Looking at the informal traders out side Palm Springs Mall failing to maintain social distance is worrying because some of the people won’t be putting on face masks and the question is if adults fail to keep social distance what about the children?

Parents question the re-opening of schools

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By Dorothy Mabelebele

People on social media have been discussing about the decision taken by the Department of Education on the re-opening of schools during the lockdown. Parents are not agreeing with the re-opening of schools whilst the number of COVID-19 tested positive cases continue to rise drastically alongside rising deaths cases. Looking at the main issue of South Africa easing the lockdown, parents are worried about getting their children back to school. Even though the Minister of Education Angie Motshekga assured the parents that compliance will be enforced based on the sanitation measures, availability of water, provision of masks and enforcing social distancing in the schools.

Parents are worried that children won’t comply with the rules and regulations around COVID-19 since they wont be able to put on masks for the whole day and parents also argue that even though schools can be sanitized, there is high risk of infecting each other as pupils come from different families where some family members might be infected by the virus.

Motshekga said as of 4 May, senior managers in the education sector will return to work to prepare for the reopening of schools. The senior managers will then be followed by school management teams on 11 May 2020. Teachers will, based on the proposal, only return to work on 18 May 2020. Due to unfinished preparations, May/June exams are postponed. Motshekga urged parents who attend fee-paying schools to keep paying fees. This follows reports that in some schools, parents did not pay fees, which affected the salaries of SGB-appointed teachers, who are not on government’s payroll but rather receive their income from the school fees.

Sefikile parents bemoan lack of consultation in reopening of schools and not happy with going back to work

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by Amo Tshabalala

I have listened with disappointment the speech of the Minister of Education, Mrs Angy Motshegwa, that our kids have to go back to school when workers are still at home. There is even a time table on when learners are going back to school. Do we have a say on what the government decides or not? Since this COVID 19 is deadly, I think we as parents should be consulted as the risk is high. Do we have a say on matters affecting our lives? The community of Sefikile is more concerned about their children since they are going back to school and some parents feel like they should wait for the virus infections to recede before their kids could go back to school, saying that they should be consulted and have a say about their children’s well being.

Meanwhile, the opening of mines in Sefikile community worries us because of the health risk posed to our families. However, somehow feel that we have nothing to do since everyone else is going back to work and if you try to voice your concerns you will get fired. As for our families depend on us and we can’t disappoint them by not going back to work. We have to go back to work even if we don’t like it due to the obtaining crisis and we just hope that all necessary steps will be taken for our safety and also that of our families.No one answered but all in one said they shod be cancelled at ones for protection of their kids. They said it themselves that it is going to be bad for kids to distance them towards each other as they used to be close to each other and friends to each other.

Learning taken to WhatsApp

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Rapule Moiloa in Tembisa Ekurhuleni

Teachers in Lesotho did not allow the lock down period to disrupt education nor put education on hold due to the current situation that has struck the world and forced countries to be on lock down but have decided to be in contact with parents and learners using WhatsApp as an educational platform so that learners may continue learning. They are affording learners at least three days per week from 5pm to 8pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Learners submit their work on Friday via Whatsapp. There seems to be clear coordination between teachers and parents as they hold children to account in cases where learners fail to do the needful.

Meanwhile…Parents fears and concerns are not just about kids going back to school, how many schools are vandalised or food that will be served at schools to the learners but their kids’ health and safety. The question is how will schools monitor learners in lower grades for children play any how? how will social distancing be maintained in classes during lunch hour and after school and will the educators be able to handle the pressure of seeing to it that rules and regulations are followed, are schools prepared to manage the risk? However instead of parents chilling out in the street doing nothing but talking about things that are not of use to children it is better for them to educate children about corona virus and prepare them for back to school in this crisis.