This South African lockdown has been one hell of a ride. Even though we’re finally progressing toward a more open economy with the introduction of Level 3 on 1 June, many parents are not convinced they can send their children back to school just yet.
Government’s plan right now is to send Grade 7 and 12 pupils back to classrooms on 1 June, but it seems their plan may have a spanner in it. Although the Department of Basic Education made the announcement and detailed plans to have personal protective equipment (PPE) for all staff and learners on each premises, it seems that may not be the case anymore.
Its plan has been heavily criticised across the nation, with many parents voicing their concerns over sending children back into the world after months of self-isolating. To make matters worse, the government may be unable to fulfil its supply of personal protective equipment to school staff.
Many local departments already advised teachers to stay home come Monday 1 June, mostly because the government’s promise to deliver PPEs has failed. No PPEs = no safe working environment for staff.
That’s not even mentioning the safety of learners who need to attend classes and interact. The government would need to step up their game and provide schools with the necessary kit to continue teaching safely in future. But that future will likely not be 1 June.
What if you need to send kids to school?
At some point in the future, parents will need to start sending children back to class — we’re not saying when, but it’s going to happen. This is especially true for parents who need to get back to work as the economy starts to reopen in South Africa. Also, not everyone can afford homeschool and the resources that go along with it.
Follow strict hygienic precautions — South Africans have become well-versed in hygienic practices in a small amount of time. Make sure to get your child a medical-grade mask that fits correctly. If it happens to be a cloth mask, make sure to disinfect it after each wear, and teach your children proper mask etiquette. Only touch the band that goes over the ears, and not the front of the mask.
Make sure to wash your hands every time you get the opportunity and don’t share your pencil with anyone, even if they’re your friends. Hopefully, they’ll stay your friend, just make sure to play some games with them online after school instead of having playdates.