Durban – KwaZulu- Natal education officials on Thursday insisted that teaching and learning would resume on Monday because they could not afford to lose the academic year.
Education MEC Kwai Mshengu outlined the province’s R57 billion budget for the 2020/2021 financial year and suggested that most schools would be ready to receive pupils next week.
Mshengu has received strong criticism from the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), which argued that the provincial department not prepared to start teaching and learning.
Mntomuhle Khawula of the IFP said it was hypocritical of government to insist on the reopening of schools while public representatives were still meeting virtually in bid to avoid infection.
“Parliament authorities are scared of contracting Covid-19, yet educators and learners are expected to be physically present in schools,” said Khawula.
The EFF’s Nomvuyiselo Dlamini said: “The call for the reopening of the schools is motivated by the capital gain than concern that teachers and learners might lose the academic year”.
Mshengu insisted that only schools that had been declared safe would reopen.