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SACP Eastern Cape urges provincial govt to reconsider reopening schools

May 28, 2020
SACP Eastern Cape urges provincial govt to reconsider reopening schools

East London - While noting the strides made by the Eastern Cape Provincial Government to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the province, the South African Communist Party (SACP) in the Eastern Cape on Thursday said that more effort is needed to sustain the fight to curb the spread of the pandemic.

"We have noted reports by the Department of Education on the state of readiness for the reopening of schools, and the preventive measures put in place thereof. As the SACP, we are of the considered view that the Provincial Government must delay the reopening of schools by another two weeks as to ensure that all safety measures are in place in our schools throughout the province," said Siyabonga Mdodi, SACP Eastern Cape Provincial Spokesperson.

"This is informed by the reports we have received from our structures in many of our districts, that have reported none availability of PPEs in many schools. 

"We are not surprised by this given the vastness of the province and enormity and sensitivity of the task at hand. There is no need for a rush as any speed under the conditions can lead to a crash with devastating consequences.

"It is in this context that as the SACP, we support the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) decision in relation to the reopening of schools.

"We support the position of SADTU for both educators and learners should be allowed to return to school when it is safe to do so."

Mdodi said that the SACP in the Eastern Cape is also calling for an open day that should allow education stakeholders to visit schools to ascertain the state of readiness.

"We should avoid adopting a one size fit all approach as our provinces are not the same in many respects. And we equally note that some responses are talking to the children of the elite than children of the working class," he described.

"For example, "if a child does not have a mask he or she will be turned away at the school gate to fetch it",surely this is not talking to children who use scholar transport and at worst walk long distances to school.

"We urge our government to reconsider the decision to reopen schools on 1 June 2020 as we believe such a decision will be in the deepest interest of the people of the province as a whole."

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