Fedsas concerned over schools reopening

Paul Colditz

The Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools (Fedsas) have expressed concern over the proposed resuming of the school year next week. This comes after the Department of Basic Education announced that Grade 12 and 7 learners might be returning to school on Wednesday 6 May 2020.

According to Fedsas CEO, Paul Colditz, the announcement has left the public uncertain about aspects of the reopening of schools.

“This is exactly the same presentation made to governing body organisations at a meeting with the Minister of Basic Education on Sunday, 26 April 2020. We’ve made it clear to the Minister and her representatives that we cannot support these proposed dates because there are still too many uncertainties,” he explained.

“However, instead of communicating in a clear and coherent manner with the public, this presentation just caused more consternation and speculation, even though, almost as an afterthought, it was mentioned that the Minister is yet to do a formal announcement,” added Colditz.

Fedsas emphasised that the safety of teachers and learners also remains an issue of concern as they are set to return to school during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Fedsas will not support any plan that does not carefully and deliberately put the safety of our children and teachers at schools at the forefront. Although Fedsas appreciates the difficult position in which the Minister finds herself, the organisation is concerned that this very important matter was not communicated to the public in a proper and open manner,” said Colditz.

While learners in Grade 7 and 12 are set to return to school on Wednesday, teachers of these grades return to their posts on Monday 4 May 2020.

“We call on Fedsas members not to express ill-informed opinions or spread news that is not official. Let us rather wait for the official announcement by the Minister. It is her responsibility and her prerogative,” concluded Colditz.

Nomaqhawe Mtebele