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Smooth return for second wave of pupils - WCED

Western Cape MEC for Education Debbie Schafer said that there were no widespread disruptions.

A group of grade 11 learners at a school in Cape Town go through orientation on their return to school. Picture: @WCEDnews/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Education Department said that the return of the second wave of pupils went relatively smoothly.

Grades R, 6 and 11 returned to class on Monday. MEC for Education Debbie Schafer said that there were no widespread disruptions.

However, there have been mixed views from teacher unions, communities and organisations about the return ahead of the peak in COVID-19 infections.

Schafer said that the third batch of masks and cleaning materials had been delivered last week and said that all schools had submitted their temporary revised plans.

MEC Schafer said that while there were no widespread disruptions, there were a number of threats and attempts by communities to close schools.

"I reiterate that by law, no one other than the HOD may close a school. Parents are allowed to apply through their school to keep their own child at home and if they are anxious about COVID-19 but they have no right whatsoever to prevent other people's children from going to school."

Over the past few weeks, teachers from several schools and communities have protested, demanding that schools be closed to protect learners and staff.

Meanwhile, Equal Education said that the national and provincial departments must prioritise engagement with schools, to hear and understand their fears and to provide detail on procedures that had caused confusion among all members of the school community.

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