The Congress of South African Students (Cosas) in the Western Cape has distanced itself from calls to close schools due to the rising number of Covid-19 infections.
“We distance ourselves in calls for a shutdown of schools and believe that learners need to be awarded the opportunity to write their mid-year examination as schools are scheduled to close on 8 July 2021,” Cosas said in a statement on Tuesday.
“We are sending a very strong message to our regional and branch leaders to closely monitor the vaccination process of teachers and support stuff starting on Wednesday 23 June 2021 till Thursday 8 July 2021 and to check for any positive cases reported at their schools as we approach the third wave,” Cosas said.
Cosas said it was “very concerned” as to who continued to “mislead” Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga.
“We believe much trusted experts when it comes to COVID-19 are the ones advising the National Coronavirus Command Council which has taken a decision to take the country back to level 3 as the third wave is approaching. However, whenever the NCCC takes a turn to the left, the DBE takes a turn to the right which contradicts with decisions announced by the president,” Cosas added.
“We call on the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) to refrain from it’s plans to phase in all grades in the beginning of the third term as it would be a big risk contributing towards the spread of COVID-19 as it will only be a number of teachers and teaching staff that would have been vaccinated and we have seen young people being transporters of the virus,” Cosas said.
Cosas also commented on the allegations of racial discrimination at the German International School in Cape Town.
“Discrimination has no place in our society and we all need to take away the lessons of the Aphartheid Regime of Race Classification. We also call on the South African Human Rights Commission to investigate all the allegations of discrimination at the school and put those responsible to account,” Cosas said.
However, the school said in a statement, issued last week that school management had met with the learners who had been involved in a protest against discrimination, and insisted that the school “remains committed to providing an inclusive environment where all learners feel they belong”.
“We condemn any behaviour that seeks to discriminate. Discrimination of any kind has no place at our school! Diversity and Integration is an integral and essential pillar of our school and our vision.”