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WC Education MEC accuses SAHRC of depriving pupils of right to learn

Education MEC Debbie Schafer said the SAHRC should be supporting government’s attempt to reopen most schools after two months in lockdown.

Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schafer. Picture: @DebbieSchafer/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schäfer on Tuesday accused the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) of attempting to deprive pupils of their right to learn.

Schäfer said the SAHRC should be supporting government’s attempt to reopen most schools after two months in lockdown.

The MEC reacted after the commission said it was going to court in a bid to keep schools closed. She said the SAHRC was the last organisation she expected to oppose the decision to reopen schools.

Schäfer said it was the pupils' constitutional right to be educated.

The MEC, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, and the SAHRC are expected to face off in court this week over the reopening.

Schäfer said she was satisfied with the precautions they had taken to ensure pupils’ safety.

“There has been a lot of anxiety going on… our officials have been working literally night and day, week in and week out, to ensure that these [personal protective equipment] are procured,” she said.

Teacher unions and some parents had vowed not to allow their children to return to class during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Four teachers from different schools in that province have tested positive for the virus.

WATCH: Parents react to delayed reopening of schools

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.