COVID-19 situation in South Africa disproves science claims on children’s vulnerability

The COVID-19 situation in South Africa is a clear opposition to what science suggests about the low transmission of the virus in children.

The COVID-19 situation in South Africa

The Department of Basic Education is now being bashed by parents and education unions for opening schools too early. As days go by, a lesser number of students are attending classes in schools in South Africa.

In a statement from the National Professional Teacher’s Organization of South Africa (NAPTOSA), the government is now being pressured for the dwindling number of students attending classes since they issued the early reopening of schools.

Even the scientific claim that “children are less susceptible to the virus” is not reliable anymore due to the current COVID-19 situation in South Africa. There was an increasing number of COVID-19 in students with some cases leading to death.

NAPTOSA pointed out that cases are getting even more out of hand due to the lack of protective equipment allotment for teachers and other school staff.

To add up to the problem, science claims that the virus has slowly transmuted into an airborne disease.

Proposal to address school reopening

A joint proposal was presented by the education unions to help address the COVID-19 situation in South Africa, in relation to school reopening.

Here are a few bullets from the discussion between the education unions and the Department of Basic Education:

  • Schools should remain close no until South Africa hurdles through the peak of COVID-19 cases in the country. Classes should resume not earlier than the end of Winter.
  • School facilities should be renovated. Water supply should be adequate, sanitary facilities such as lavatories and restrooms should be fixed.
  • The Department of Basic Education should provide adequate training to teachers during the slack time before the reopening of classes.
  • Grade level 12 students should be given priority to return first to class.
  • Strengthen the information dissemination campaigns against COVID-19.

The COVID-19 situation in South Africa is far from over, which is why education unions and education officials should work hand in hand and promote guidelines for the betterment of students, parents, teachers, and other school staff.

Featured image by Reuters