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SAHRC to monitor rollout of school material, nutrition programme during break

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced earlier this week that all public schools will close for a month from Monday, with matrics taking a week off – while grade 7s will stay home for two weeks.

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

JOHANNESBURG – The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) says it’s keeping a close eye on the rolling out of the school nutrition programme and the distribution of learning materials as pupils prepare to go on a four-week break.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced earlier this week that all public schools will close for a month from Monday, with matrics taking a week off – while grade 7s will stay home for two weeks.

The basic education department said this is in response to the accelerating spread of COVID-19, and the psychological distress this has caused for teachers and pupils.

However, the commission said the decision is regrettable and unjustifiable citing that the closure of schools as a channel that will further deepen disparities within the education system.

Commissioner Chirs Nissen said they will ensure the delivery of food to all 9 million learners who qualify is implemented and that pupils receive the necessary learning materials at home.
“Every effort should be made to ensure that the disadvantaged to have access, and therefore we welcome that some schools have made learning material to be delivered to them during this, so that schooling doesn’t stop – whether it is in the school or outside the school.”