Lesufi: We are in the middle of a COVID-19 siege, schools cannot operate

Lesufi visited Helpmekaar Kollege in Johannesburg earlier following reports that the independent school would be operating on Monday in contravention of the new guidelines.

FILE: Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi visited the Helpmekaar Kollege after the school reopened on 18 January 2021. Picture: DBE.

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi on Monday said that the province was in the middle of a COVID-19 siege and no school would be allowed to operate over the next two weeks under his watch.

Lesufi visited Helpmekaar Kollege in Johannesburg earlier following reports that the independent school would be operating on Monday in contravention of the new guidelines.

Last week, the Basic Education Department announced a decision to postpone the reopening of schools to the 15th of next month due to a surge in COVID-19 infections across the country.

Lesufi said Helpmekaar Kollege has been operating since last week and has now taken a decision to migrate online.

“Yesterday, they reconsidered and felt that they should migrate to online learning and it’s only seven learners in the boarding facility and those are the seven learners that will remain at the school.”

Meanwhile, The Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa said that private schools that had opted to remain open were not breaking any laws.

The association's executive director, Lebogang Montjane: "There is no regulation that precludes an independent school from opening at this point in time. So it is really important that no school is breaking the law if it has pupils on campus at the moment."

WATCH: 'Our decisions are expert-driven’ - Lesufi at Helpmekaar Kollege after school reopening confusion

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