'Schools are safe': Govt says no plans to close schools over COVID infections

The Department of Basic Educationsaid a decision to temporarily close schools will only be taken with guidance from the Health Department and Cabinet will have the last say.

FILE: Classroom desks at Talfalah Primary School are fitted with handmade COVID-19 protective screens. Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - Department of Basic Education on Monday said closing schools would not help curb the spread of COVID-19 amid concern over a rising infection rate.

The department further stated such a move would not be in the best interest of pupils or educators.

It said a decision to temporarily close schools would only be taken with guidance from the Department of Health and Cabinet would have the last say.

“Up to now, there has not been any talk about that. Yes, we are aware the community infections are increasing,” said spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga.

He said parents and adults must take responsibility for the spread of the virus.

“The adults are the ones going to parties, funerals, weddings and they are dancing close to each other, speaking aloud. Schools are safe. If learners have the virus, they got it from their parents.”

Mhlanga warned pupils would be at a disadvantage if there were further disruptions to the already shortened curriculum.

“Right now, we have a massive catastrophe on our hands in so far as the learning losses are concerned. Curriculum has been trimmed; even the shortened one, we are not going to finish it.”

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