Majority of adults opposed to re-opening of schools, shows new survey

Majority of adults opposed to re-opening of schools, shows new survey

A survey conducted by the Centre for Social Change at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and the Development of Capable and Ethical State at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), has revealed that 53% of adults are opposed to the reopening of schools until there’s an improvement in Covid-19. 

school empty classroom

 Public schools across the country are expected to open on the 27th of January, despite rising Covid-19 numbers and a second wave sweeping across South Africa. 

To date, the country has recorded close to 1.3 million infections since the first case was recorded in March 2020.

According to the survey, people in lower-income groups are more likely to oppose the re-opening of schools than those in the higher income group.

Furthermore, attitudes to the re-opening of schools also differed by race - with 77% of Indian adults being the most opposed to children returning to school at the beginning of the 2021 academic year.

ALSO READ: Frustrations grow as water woes continue for Chatsworth residents

Coloured and black African adults are also opposed to their children going back to the classroom.

An estimated 63% of coloured adults and 52% of Black Africans do not believe schools should re-open, while only 37% of white adults were opposed to the re-opening of schools.

Associate Professor at UJ, Professor Carin Runciman, says although parents remain concerned over the education of their children, safety has also played a big role incoming to the decision.

 “The findings from the survey show that the majority of adults oppose the re-opening of schools while Covid-19 cases continue at their current high levels. This opposition is strongest amongst the most vulnerable and economically disadvantaged sections of society, who are less likely to have confidence in the ability of their schools to provide a safe environment for learners. 

"These findings illustrate that although parents are deeply concerned about their children’s education that they are equally, if not more, concerned about the safety of their children, their families and communities.”


New Newswatch podcast banner red

Show's Stories