Mr President, what about private schools?


Public versus private school immune systems is a matter of national debate right now.

In an almost comprehensive address by President Cyril Ramaphosa last week, we now know that schools will be closed effective today. Children in Grade 12 will only be closing for one week, while Grade 7s will open two weeks from now.

The biggest question mark that came from that address was concerning how private schools will manage this matter.

According to Ramaphosa: “Taking into account the views of the various stakeholders and expert bodies, Cabinet has decided that all public schools should take a break for the next four weeks.”

Also Read: I give up, Angie, now you’re going to close schools, again?

This statement explicitly states that the closure will only take place for parents with children in public schools.

Director-general of the department of basic education Mathanzima Mweli explained in a video that private and public schools are structured differently, thus the announcement catering for public schools alone.

“They work on a trimester system, and we work on a four-quarter system. Those are two different academic years. Even if you announce breaks, you take that into account, which is exactly what the president has done,” Mathanzima explains.

Also Read: So, schools are closing. What now?

The exclusion of private schools in the announcement had parents jokingly asking whether private school students had private immune systems that were immune to the coronavirus.

Teacher unions and political parties have questioned why the two systems are being viewed separately from each other. Some have even raised that the decision is creating division in the education sector.

Karabo Mokoena

Karabo Mokoena is a wife, a girl mom, a writer and content creator. She is the Resident Contributor for Parenty and a Mommy Blogger, creating relatable parenting content for her blog Black Mom Chronicles. You can engage with her on her Instagram and YouTube pages. She is a political science graduate, who has worked in human resources for most of her professional career. She loves engaging with people, thus her choice to specialise in recruitment. She loves telling stories and sharing her life’s journey to brighten someone else’s day. 

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