COSAS calls for school total shut down amid COVID-19

The Congress of South African Students (COSAS) National Executive Committee has called on a total shutdown of schools across the country amid COVID-19.

This follows a COSAS 19th NEC meeting which recently took place in Johannesburg, Gauteng province.

Amongst many of the urgent issues was the issue of resumption of schools and advancing the school calendar.

“COSAS came to a common course that it is actually not binding that learners complete the academic calendar in December because that is what we have been programmed to believe as in when the system always dictates,” said the COSAS spokesperson, Douglas Ngobeni in a press statement.

The Congress says it had taken a decision that it shall engage in a shutdown, rejecting the phased reopening of Schools by the department.

“The Department of Education clearly does not know what it is doing by taking those innocent souls back to class; we do not know where the rush is. We totally reject the phasing in of Grade R’s” added Ngobeni.

Ngobeni further expressed that the Department of Health has described the months between June and September as an identified time where there will be a peak of the virus.

“Considering social distancing, we believe that there are a lot of schools in the country which do not have sufficient infrastructure to accommodate our learners provided the social distancing measures. We, therefore, also reject the phasing in of Grade 11 and grade 6,” explained Ngobeni.

The NEC further announced that grade 12 will only be allowed back in class only when they are taken to school camps.

The NEC had further called on the department to start providing learners with the feeding scheme meals even when they are not in school, explaining that the community monuments can be identified in that regard.