South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has announced the closure of all public schools due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, Holy Childhood School will remain open, as it is a member of the Independent Schools Association of South Africa (ISASA).
As per the president’s address to the nation at the end of July, all public schools throughout the country have been closed for four weeks until August 24th. Holy Childhood School (HCS) however remains open because it is a private school and a member of ISASA, the Independent Schools Association of South Africa. All our children from Grade 00 to Grade 7 have been attending school since lockdown level 4. All Covid 19 protocols and measures are faithfully kept in our school, and HCS has passed Covid-19-related inspections with flying colours. There have been no positive cases in our pupils and staff so far and we hope that everyone remains safe and healthy. Some of our children have switched to homeschooling, as parents have the right to do so.
While HCS is doing its best to keep its doors open for learners, corona virus infections continue to rise daily in our province KwaZulu-Natal. According to experts the country is going to reach its peak in August. Many public schools have been struggling to prepare a safe environment for learners, and this has created fear amongst teachers, parents and learners. During the month of July, the South African teachers union met with the Minister of Education, Angie Motshekga, and eventually the government made the decision to close all public schools for four weeks in an attempt to keep children and staff safe during the expected peak of the pandemic.
When the president addressed the country, he also announced that Grade 12 will only take a one-week break and Grade 7 a two-week break. “We ask you to do this because we believe it is important to ensure that schools do not become sites of transmission at a time when infections are rising fast”, said Cyril Ramaphosa. With regard to the curriculum and upcoming terms, he stated that the current academic year will extend beyond 2020.
Text by: Sr. Maria Machi
Photos by: Sr. Faith Myende