The DA calls for a full-re-opening of schools

Please find attached soundbite by Baxolile ‘Bax’ Nodada MP.

The DA calls for a full re-opening of schools on Wednesday after the December break. Last year some grades lost over 40% of learning and teaching time which have undoubtedly affected learner drop-out rates and performance.

Since various news reports have highlighted Prof Shabir Madhi’s comments that the time has come for government to do away with some Covid-19 restrictions, the DA trusts that that all sports, arts and culture activities would be continued at schools with all Covid-safety protocols observed.

Schools should take all necessary precautions to create a safe learning and teaching environment so that learners can come back to school full time. The DA also encourage all teachers able to do so to get fully vaccinated to ensure their safety, as well as the safety of the learners and other staff.

The DA will conduct oversight visits to schools in Mpumalanga on Wednesday with the DA Shadow Minister for Basic Education, Baxolile Nodada; DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Desiree van der Walt; and DA Mpumalanga Provincial Leader, Jane Sithole, and her team. They will be visiting Mehlwana Secondary School and Lehlaka Combined School.

The aim of the oversight is to assess the following:

  • State of school readiness;
  • Admissions of learners;
  • Covid protocols and teacher vaccination rate;
  • Teacher quality;
  • State of curriculum coverage;
  • Plans being implemented to address curriculum coverage challenges;
  • State of infrastructure: access to water, safe toilets, fencing and general infrastructure;
  • Drop-out and retention plan;
  • Scholar transport; and
  • School nutrition

Despite the unpredictable challenges brought on by the Covid-pandemic, teachers, stakeholders and learners have done exceptionally well to adapt. The DA wishes them all the best in the coming year and we hope to see an increase in normality in the coming months.