Will South African Schools Be Closing, and What Will That Mean to Parents?
Around the globe various countries have banned large gatherings of people, in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus. Sporting events have been cancelled, and some public spaces such as the Louvre Museum in Paris, were closed. Japan, Hong Kong, mainland China, Italy, Iran and Vietnam have closed schools, and some US schools have shut for a few days.
Closer to home, Elijah Mhlanga, Media Liaison for the Department of Basic Education, said the Department of Health is the lead department in this regard. “We will be informed accordingly by the relevant departments regarding the steps to be take,” he told Parent24.
At a media briefing on 3 March the Western Cape Health Department said that at this point in time there is no definite plan as to closing schools, but as the situation develops they will communicate with schools and parents.
In some cases, schools only partly close, or manage start and end times to minimise contact between classes and grades. A complete school closure could negatively impact disadvantaged and vulnerable students, who rely on school for a meal or a safe place to be during the day.