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Childline SA: Govt must listen to pupils ahead of reopening schools

Childline South African said it was concerned about government’s decision to allow grade seven and matric pupils to return to classes on Monday, saying that not much had been done to hear their views on the matter.

A classroom at the Ga-Rankuwa Primary School, north of Pretoria on 26 May 2020. Picture: @Lesufi/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Childline South Africa is calling on government to listen to learners' views as the Basic Education Department wants some pupils to return to school next week.

The call is made as the country marks National Child Protection Week under the theme, let us protect children during COVID-19 and beyond.

The week is observed annually from 31 May to 7 June.

Childline South African said it was concerned about government’s decision to allow grade seven and matric pupils to return to classes on Monday, saying that not much had been done to hear their views on the matter.

Learners were due to return to classes this week, but Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga was forced to change her mind after calls from teacher unions and various organisations.

Childline South Africa's Dumisile Nala said that not much has been done to hear children’s views.

“Of course the decisions that have been made take into consideration the safety of children but we have not heard much in terms of children’s voices.”

Nala said they had spoken to pupils who had expressed mixed feelings.

Teachers have been already preparing for classes to begin.

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