KZN education department won't tolerate back to school disruptions over Covid-19
KwaZulu-Natal education MEC Kwazi Mshengu said he would not tolerate school disruptions as Grade 7 pupils resumed classes on Monday after a two-week holiday.
Mshengu was speaking at Ithamsanqa Primary in Newcastle when he and basic education deputy minister Reginah Mhaule visited three schools in the area.
"We will be very intolerant of anyone who disrupts the schooling system under the pretence of protecting pupils and teachers against Covid-19," said Mshengu.
He said in eThekwini they had encountered people claiming to be school governing body (SGB) forums disrupting schooling.
"We have made it clear to them there is no SGB that has the right to close a school. If they have challenges they need to follow all the protocols so that we can deal with those challenges," he said.
"To those instigating other parents not to send their children to school, we're saying the president and the basic education minister made it clear that if you are not comfortable with sending your child to school, you are not forced to, but you don't have the right to disrupt other pupils and parents who want to return to school."
Mshengu said they were working closely with teachers' unions and SGBs, and that as of Monday there were about 2,500 people in the province's school system who had tested positive for Covid-19, the majority of whom are teachers.
Mhaule's visit comes days after health minister Zweli Mkhize visited the area because the province is expected to hit its Covid-19 peak in the coming weeks.
The deputy basic education minister said she was pleased with the availability of water and the social distancing measures taken at the schools she visited.
"KwaZulu-Natal is ready. The schools have plans that will mitigate the over-crowding that might prevail as a result of Covid-19," she said.
Mshengu said his department was happy with teacher and pupil attendance figures.
"We don't want anyone who will disrupt the momentum we have gathered so far," he said.