Gauteng Schools Face Rise In Covid-19 Infections

The pressure is on for Gauteng’s education department, as the province is trying to contain Covid-19 outbreaks in schools. 

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Gauteng Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi has agreed that the province is facing a rise in Covid-19 cases. 

"For example, in Gauteng, we've got close to 2 300 schools that are public institutions. Of the 2 300 schools, a total number of 2 226 schools have one case or another of Covid so it's a clear indication that it's widespread and within our schools"

While the threat of Covid-19 remains at schools, no deaths have been recorded during this period at school premises. 

Lesufi said the education department is following advice from experts, which according to the minister, have not yet advised for schools to be closed.

"Fortunately we'll be closing for the end of the second term, which is our recess. We really believe that's the recess that will assist us to cushion  the impact of the virus. So if there is a need to bring the holidays earlier I think we'll be ready but if there is a need to maintain the current school calendar we'll have to be ready.

The Economic Freedom Front (EFF) recently threatened to shut down schools as the country is in the third wave. 

EFF President and Commander-in-Chief, Julius Malema, wants schools to close immediately. 

He has given Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, 7 days to announce the closing of schools. 

The EFF President further threatened to forcefully shut down schools if the Minister does not respond to this request.

"There is no reason to force contact learning because already there are rising infections amongst young people and children, which are disrupting schools. To ensure a fast move beyond the Third Wave, schools must be closed." said Malema during a press conference held on 10 June. 

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