Student union Cosas threatens to shut down schools across SA over Covid-19

Government has implemented hygiene protocols at schools to enable the staggered return of pupils amid Covid-19. Stock image. Image: 123RF/paylessimages

The Congress of SA Students (Cosas) says it will be “shutting down all schools” from Monday.

“We want to put it on record that we are not giving anyone an option but we are taking a radical approach, we will save the lives of innocent scholars by hook or crook,” it said in a statement.

Cosas said it would mobilise at a school in Cape Town where it believed a Covid-19 case had been reported, “from there we will move to any other school that is operating”.

Last week, a group of Cosas-aligned protesters forcefully removed pupils at various schools in Bloemfontein, reported SABC.

They demanded that Covid-19 tests be made compulsory, before pupils return to school.

On Friday, Free State education MEC Tate Makgoe tweeted: “We don’t agree with Cosas’ approach to disrupt our schools. In the province, more than 2.2-million people have been screened and 31,000 tested. It will be impossible to test every learner and teacher in our schools. The country does not have that capacity.”

Earlier in the week, he had assured parents that the department would ensure all schools complied with Covid-19 regulations.

“As the department, we won’t force parents to send learners to school but rather encourage them to do so. Learners will always be screened, social workers and health officials are available should any challenges occur. Every school is linked to a health clinic.

” … Should a learner face a challenge at school, we as the department will solve the challenge.”

On the first day of schools reopening for grades seven and 12 last week, he said about 95% of pupils and educators had reported to school on the first day without any challenges.


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