Pupils return to school

Pupils return to school

Limpopo school goers get started with the new academic year

While parents are anxious over the late start of the school term coupled with the prevalence of covid-19 pandemic, which has by far took many lives than ever seen before, some teachers are worried that social distancing in some schools is not practical without necessary infrastructure.

They argue that the one-teacher-is-to-20 learners policy by the government is not a one-size-fits-all thing, but a system that apply only to schools that have enough infrastructure to be able to accommodate every learner. Otherwise learners in some schools are forced to share crowed classes of which undermine the social distancing rule in the process.

“Take our school for instance, last year we had many learners in grade seven and we had to divide them into groups that come once a week in order to accommodate one-teacher-is-to 20 learners’ policy,” explained Nkhensani Maswanganyi, the acting principal at Xikukwani primary school during a back to school campaign by Giyani Mayor Basani Shibambu.

Maswanganyi pleaded with the mayor to help them with mobile classes and toilet in order to help ensure social distancing at the school. “This year we have 766 learners, the number of which is almost 800. Can you imagine what would happen to social distancing if you were to bring half of the learners plus 50 stuff members to school,” continue the principal.

She argued that this does not only infringe on social distancing rule, but also compromise the quality of education that learners get, saying this could result in mass failure in learners. In response to Maswanganyi’s plea the mayor, who also visited several other schools as part of back-to-school monitoring campaign before Xikukwani Primary, said she would pass the message to the department of education.

“As municipality we were not aware of the school’s challenges, we were only here to check and monitor the school opening process, however, now that we have found even more challenges in this school, we will ensure that we report back to the MEC for education for further action,” said the mayor before she moved to visit other schools.