File photo: Cosas members.
- An impromptu campaign by the Congress of SA Students in Limpopo to halt schooling for pupils in the province has seemingly fallen on deaf ears.
- Schooling continued in the province mostly without a hitch on Thursday, despite its attempts to convince pupils to “go home”.
- The province’s command council on Covid-19 says the intermittent closing and opening of school whenever there’s a case, is unsustainable.
The impromptu campaign by the Congress of SA Students (Cosas) in Limpopo to close all schools in the midst of the Covid-19 peak was mostly a failure as schooling continued in large parts of the province on Thursday.
It was in Seshego, Polokwane, where Cosas provincial secretary Scalo Mahladisa – accompanied by five other members – was given a platform to address pupils at break time at Moruleng Secondary School.
After a brief address, he called on them to “take your bags and go home”. With ululations, they obliged.
However, the decision did not go down well, with some pupils criticising the decision.
At Masedibu High School also in Seshego, Cosas also failed to convince pupils to abandon school.
Two members of the organisation were taken away by the police when they tried to barge into a school in Mankweng.
Other districts in the region reported schools were running smoothly.
Mahladisa told the media Cosas still believed the current environment was not conducive for schooling.
“We are calling on the education department to establish camps for learners. At educational camps, we won’t meet with other people – we’ll be there just to learn.
“They took a week to dig a million graves in Gauteng [for anticipated Covid-19 deaths]. So it won’t take them [long] to establish educational camps”.
Calls for the closure of schools in the peak of Covid-19 are gaining momentum, with teacher unions expected to meet with Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on the issue.
In Limpopo, the provincial command council (PCC) on Covid-19 has since hinted the phasing in of other grades in August could be delayed.
After its meeting on Wednesday, the PCC indicated in a statement a “member of the executive council can request a delayed phasing in depending on the state of Covid-19 and other challenges”.
It said 107 Covid-19 cases have been detected at schools in the province – 76 teachers, 30 pupils and one non-teaching staff member.
“The PCC raised concerns of intermittent closing and opening of schools whenever there’s a case at a particular school.
“This is not sustainable and we urged the Department of Health to advise accordingly,” the statement said.