In my observation, beginning from the third week of the initial lockdown, most parents in my neighbourhood relaxed the authority of reprimanding children to go out and play with other children at the street. My boy child is not an exception, for almost all the kids aged between 3yrs and 11 yrs. in my neighbourhood, life is normal. Parents are no longer exerting control, kids play without face masks worn and obviously they play without observing social distancing rule.
I doubt that that when they arrive at home, parents are subjecting them to hand sanitisation, and so for me, most kids are not safe at home. With the proposed phase-in approach in re-opening schools, I support the motion, in contrast, the schools, as North West MEC for education declared, the department Covid 19 plan has the Non- negotiables which the department has committed itself to with all the stakeholders, the Non- negotiables entails on the cleaning of schools, provision of the personal protective equipment to learner’s and teachers (masks, gloves, sanitisers and thermometers to be used for screening). The department has already advertised cleaning and screening posts in various schools in Jouberton, and other areas of the province, if things goes well, the public school toilets in particular will be neat, and it has always been the hygiene concern in many schools.
The overarching question however, remain, will the department of education deliver to its promises considering that most of their promises since 1994 have not been fulfilled in many schools, especially in rural areas. To this end, our role as the civil society organizations is critical in monitoring the compliance of the department in making sure that learner’s, teachers, and department officials are safe. Parents have the right to decide on what is best for their kids, I wish that when doing so, they make informed decision which will not be later regrettable, as a parent too, I want only the best for my children. Let’s make sure that we remove them from streets and not wait for the law enforcement agents to reprimand them.