So, Net Buddies, schools reopen for Matrics and Grade 7s on Monday and your emotions are likely to be mixed. There’ll be the excitement of getting back to class, resuming your studies and seeing your friends … and then there’s the anxiety about the risks of leaving lockdown.
We wish we could guarantee there’s no need for concern but that wouldn’t be honest. However, President Cyril Ramaphosa and his Ministers have consulted experts in SA and around the world, and they wouldn’t be recommending that schools open if evidence showed it was unsafe for you, your classmates or your teachers.
In fact, some schools won’t be reopening on Monday because Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says they are not ready. (That’s good to know because it means the schools that are opening HAVE been properly cleaned and prepared and that masks and sanitisers will be in place for you!) Plus the Minister has promised that, if it’s too difficult to keep schools safe, they will be closed again.
However, if you don’t feel comfortable about going back, or have questions, please discuss these with the adults in your life. This is a very tricky time and no-one expects you to face it alone. Before you make any big decisions, talk to your parents, guardians and caregivers and, if any issues concern you at school, let them know so they can help you handle it.
Obviously, things will be different and it sounds like the first day or two will be spent being educated on the ‘new normal’ before teaching starts. (Making sure everyone knows how to stay safe will be the first, and most important, lesson!) It will be good to hear how things are going to work but you can expect it to feel strange.
Covid-19 has changed everything for you and your classmates, so be kind to one another if you find it’s taking time for you to settle in. And, don’t forget, it’s also shaken things up for your teachers who have been working hard during lockdown to figure out how to help you catch up. So be kind to them too!
If you are worried about what happens if teachers get sick, you can relax. Schooling will carry on. They’ll stay home, in quarantine, and relief teachers will take their classes until they are well again.
We’re wishing you well, dear Net Buddies, and your Infinite Family will be thinking of you on Monday morning. Take care of yourselves, enjoy seeing your friends and please remember:
- Wear a mask from the moment you leave home on Monday. (See here if you need to make one.)
- Keep a 1.5m distance from other people (No hugging, kissing or holding hands.)
- Wash and sanitise your hands often and keep your hands away from your face.