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Anglican Church backs plan to keep schools open in SA

The church's call comes in support of the South African Human Right Commission seeking the continued opening and operating of as many of the country’s schools as possible.

FILE: Grade 7 students of the Sitoromo Junior Secondary School in Sterkspruit sit in their class on 6 July 2020 as a cook brings a steaming dish of milk and maize porridge. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - The Anglican Church's board of education has thrown its support behind calls for schools to remain open.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has met with various unions and other stakeholders to discuss their calls for schools to be closed with immediate effect amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The church's call comes in support of the South African Human Right Commission seeking the continued opening and operating of as many of the country’s schools as possible.

The Anglican Church of Southern Africa has called on Motshekga to ensure that all children can continue to access functional schools.

The church said Motshekga should resist pressure for additional closures which are in the interests of employees rather than children.

Bishop Peter Lee, the church's board of education chairperson, said it was important for children to be back under professionally supervised development.

“One has got to take very seriously the right of the children of this country to be educated and, in the process, to be fed and nourished at school, as well as cared for by the nation's educators.”

Lee, however, stressed schools must be made as safely as possible.

“We really need to get the schools working, rather than folding our hands and saying that next year will do. Next year won’t do. Children grow too fast for that. We’re losing too much ground in terms of basic building blocks.”

Minister Motshekga will discuss issues raised by teachers’ unions and interested parties with Cabinet, where a decision on the matter will reached.

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