– Lia Snijman.
Some of Stellenbosch’s schools have only opened in the week of 8 June, due to the conflicting statements made by Minister Angie Motshekga.
St Vincent Primary has said that more than half their learners are back at school, with about 40 not being in class. They have said that they are ready and that they only have 20 learners per class, making provision for social distancing.
Bruckner de Villiers Primary School has been open since 1 June, but stated that they’ve only started receiving more students since 8 June. Although their teachers are enthusiastic and they have all their measures in place, they still have other challenges and factors affecting them. One of them is the bad weather as they struggle to find enough places for the children to shelter from the adverse weather.
Calling Academy says they are doing very well and have welcomed their grade 10’s back, that being their highest age group. Because they are an independent school, they are talking to the Department of Education about allowing their grade 8’s and 9’s back. The school would in that case have different days for the different grades to come to school.
The Stellenbosch Waldorf School is another independent school that has opened its doors again. As they are both a primary school and a high school, they have all their matric students back, as well as about three quarters of their grade 7’s. They’ve independently procured all of their PPE and other anti-Covid equipment. They say that everything is running smoothly and that they are still giving Zoom classes to the students that aren’t allowed to return yet.
Bronagh Hammond, the spokesperson for the Western Cape Education department, has said that that they do not disclose the names of schools or individuals involved with positive Covid-19 cases.
Although they do not have breakdowns for specific areas, she confirmed that “in the week ending 5 June 2020, there were six new reported cases of Covid-19 in the Cape Winelands Education district”. She added: “Overall in the same week, we had 66 teachers reported positive and two learners in the Province.”