Ramaphosa admits reopening schools a ‘calculated risk’

Ramaphosa admits reopening schools a ‘calculated risk’

President Cyril Ramaphosa has admitted that the decision to reopen schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic was “a calculated risk”.

President Cyril Ramaphosa NA update
Twitter: PresidencyZA

Grade 7 and 12 pupils returned to the classroom last month despite growing concerns about the risk of infection.

Speaking on Wednesday evening, Ramaphosa said government was tasked with striking a balance between protecting lives and saving the academic calendar.

“Of course, we subscribe to the right to life. The right to life for us is important and it is sacrosanct, and at the same time, we know we have got to protect livelihoods as much as we protect lives.”

Ramaphosa hosted a virtual Imbizo with various communities on the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Grades R, 1, 2, 3, 6, 10 and 11 will all head back to school on 6 July

“The issue of opening schools was extensively canvased with parents, with the teaching fraternity and a whole number of other key role players in our society,” he said.

“It was a calculated risk to return millions of young people back to school so that we do not lose the academic year.”

This comes as the number of infections at various schools has spiked - there are 775 schools affected by COVID-19, with 523 pupils infected and 1 169 staff members.

READ: Ramaphosa: Cigarette 'ban will be lifted'

“There have been infections, not only of learners but of teachers as well and most of those have been brought from the home side,” said Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa admitted that this poses a challenge but called on schools to deal with such cases with care.

The remaining Grades will return in August. 

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