Keep your kids safe as they return to school

Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga recently announced that schools will be opening for grade 7 and 12 learners as of 1 June 2020.

South Africa has seen a jump in numbers in the past few weeks, at the time this article was published, SA’s numbers were sitting at just over 19 000 with infected cases. Our country does however have one of the lowest death rates.

While many parents agree and can't wait for school to open fully, others are saying that it's too risky to return to school soon. But the minister has assured parents that necessary precautions will take place in schools to ensure the safety of students.

“It is managed by people that are trained, they screen, they check the temperature. We have linked every school to a clinic, if you find a child with a high temperature, we will handle it the way it is handled everywhere else. We have community health workers who will be screening at the gate.” Said Motshekga at a press conference when asked about how schools would screen their students for any potential COVID-19 symptoms

“There are three principles guiding us – making sure that schools don’t become centres where the virus can be spread, making sure children don’t get infected in schools but also enabling them to continue with what is rightfully theirs, the right to education and the right to be taken care of.” Concluded the minister.

As a parent, there’s not much you can do at making sure your child adheres to the school rules while at school, but here are some measures (provided by you can take to help protect your kids while at home.

  • Clean hands often using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Children 2 years and older should wear a cloth face covering over their nose and mouth when in public settings where it’s difficult to practice social distancing.
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily in household common areas (like tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, handles, desks, toilets, and sinks).
  • Limit time with other children outside school. If children meet in groups, it can put everyone at risk. Children can pass this virus onto others who may be at higher risk.
  • Practice social distancing. The key to slowing the spread of COVID-19 is to limit contact as much as possible. While school is out, children should not have in-person playdates with children from other households. If children are playing outside their own homes, it is essential that they remain 6 feet from anyone who is not in their own household.

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