Private schools are not breaking the law by reopening - Isasa

Some independent schools had already started with teaching and learning last week when the Department of Basic Education announced that schools would only reopen in mid-February.

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi and Helpmekaar Kollege principal Klaus König on 18 January 2021. Picture: DBE.

CAPE TOWN - The Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa (Isasa) on Monday said private schools that had opted to remain open were not breaking any laws.

This is despite concerns of growing COVID-19 infections across the country, which have prompted the government to delay the reopening of all schools.

Some independent schools had already started with teaching and learning last week when the Department of Basic Education announced that schools would only reopen in mid-February.

READ: Dept confirms reopening of schools postponed by two weeks

Isasa’s executive director Lebogang Montjane said: “There is no regulation that precludes an independent school from opening at this point in time, so it’s really important that those schools are not breaking the law if they have pupils on campus at the moment.”

Isasa said was unreasonable to expect schools to rearrange plans following government's decision to postpone the reopening of schools.

He said: “Some of our schools had to call in students this weekend to set them up for online learning, and I think it’s not reasonable to expect all schools to be ready to just shut down because you’ve made a media announcement, not a legal one.”

READ: DA asks for clearer regulations from education dept

The Western Cape Department of Education is not forcing independent schools to close and said it was awaiting national government for direction.

However, Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said no school would be allowed to operate over the next two weeks.

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