27 May 2020| 03 Shawaal 1441| Parent 24

As schools gear up to open their doors to students from next week, it’s become apparent that not all parents are comfortable sending their kids back.

The fear of infection is a compelling reason, and for parents of children with illnesses it’s simply too risky.

Despite Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga’s assurances that no one will be forced to go back to school, it seems schools are limiting parents options.

A number of schools have sent letters home to parents, with a list of three choices:

– A healthy student returns to school.

– A student with a comorbidity as specified by the DBE submits proof and is supported by the school to continue learning at home.

– A student can choose to not return to school, and will be de-registered. They must join an official home or online schooling program.  

The list of specified comorbidities is as follows:

  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Kidney Disease
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Pregnancy
  • Immunosuppression
  • Primary Immunodeficiencies
  • Respiratory Disease (Pulmonary Tuberculosis, Asthma, Chronic Obstructive PulmonaryDisease, cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis)

The provisions do not make room for children who face other health issues, such as having special needs, having other lung issues, being malnourished or otherwise compromised. 

No provision has been made for students who share a home with elderly or at risk family. 

And, if a parent chooses to home school for the rest of the year, they will have to apply for a place at the school – from scratch – for next year. 

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