Mmusi Maimane leads call for national stay-away from school protest

One SA Movement leader Mmusi Maimane has urged teachers and pupils to stay at home on Friday.
Image: Twitter/Mmusi Maimane

One SA Movement leader Mmusi Maimane has called on teachers and pupils to take part in a national school stay-away protest on Friday.

On Tuesday, Maimane called for the stay-away to protest against government’s decision to reopen schools during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said the protest’s demand is for basic education minister Angie Motshekga to reverse the decision to reopen schools.

“After consultation with stakeholders, I today announce the call for a national school stay-away protest this Friday. We call on teachers and pupils to stay home on Friday to protest against the decision to reopen schools before Covid-19 infections have peaked,” said Maimane.

According to Maimane, through the protest those who believe schools are unsafe can take back their power.

So far 2,740 teachers, of the total of about 440,000 teachers in SA, have been infected by the coronavirus, and 1,260 pupils.

“All those who believe schools are unsafe and should remain closed until basic safety measures are in place, now is your time to take back your power from government,” he said.

This is not the first time Maimane has lambasted the decision to reopen schools.

On Monday, Maimane called on government to reconsider its “senseless” plan to reopen schools as Covid-19 infections rapidly increase.

He said schools must be closed to get through the Covid-19 storm after Motshekga gave the second phase of the schooling system the green light.

“We are putting tremendous stress on our pupils by asking them to prepare for exams in the most stressful and dangerous environment. We are led by a department that changes its decisions. Our teachers are worried,” said Maimane.

“My greatest pain is that we now have a government that seems to have forgotten the cries of the poor. Many wealthy schools are ready, they have all the infrastructure.

“This is not the discussion. The discussion is about the poor children. I warn in this time, when the cries of the poor in our nation are ignored, our nation is doomed,” he said.

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