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South Africa: Soweto Schools Send Learners Back Home


By Bheki C. Simelane

A number of Soweto schools failed to get off to a flying start on Monday when pupils were meant to return to class.

After nearly a month of closure to manage rising Covid-19 infections, a number of Soweto schools in the Protea, Chiawelo and Dlamini areas failed to hit the ground running on Monday morning.

Schools around the country were due to resume classes on Monday following an extended shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic and concerns raised by teachers and parents over the risk of infections at schools.

Almost a month ago, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that schools would close from 27 July and reopen on 24 August. The expectation for many parents and pupils was that in-classroom learning would get underway immediately.

However, this was not the case at several schools that Daily Maverick visited on Monday.

Instead of being taught, learners were handed timetables and sent back home.

Many learners lamented the lost teaching time, saying they had expected to start schooling immediately.

“We expected to hit the road running, but when we got to school, we were given masks and soap and told to return to school on the dates specified in our timetables. I came…

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