“Your anxiety should not determine the future of other children whose parents do want their children to go to school.”
These are the words of basic education minister Angie Motshekga to parents who have expressed anxieties about sending their children to school during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Motshekga said this during the National Assembly’s first virtual sitting on Wednesday.
Since announcing that schools would reopen next week, parents have been expressing their concerns due to the rapid spread of the virus in the country.
To date, SA has 24,264 confirmed cases and 524 deaths.
Schools will open next week for grades 7 and 12, as well as some “smaller schools” of not more than 125 pupils. Other grades will return in a phased approach.
Motshekga said her department was confident that reopening schools in this way was the correct decision.
According to Motshekga, health experts have also expressed that there is no reason to keep children out of school.
“We are saying to parents who are anxious, no-one is forcing anything down their throats. They must keep their children at home. There is no-one saying bring your child to school, if you are anxious. We are saying, we understand that you are anxious,” she said.
“On the other hand, we are saying your anxiety should not determine the future of other children whose parents do want their children to go to school.”
Motshekga reiterated that parents had the right not to send their children back to school on June 1.
“We are supporting you to keep your child at home, we are not forcing anything down your throat. What we are saying is, don’t stand in the way of the children of the parents who want to go to school.”
— Parliament of RSA (@ParliamentofRSA) May 27, 2020