Authorities slam student union’s calls to shut private schools
Durban - THE KZN Education Department says Cosas should engage in a productive and progressive discussion instead of threatening to shut down all private schools.
Cosas is threatening to shut down private schools that remain open while public schools are closed for four weeks due to the scourge of the Covid-19 pandemic.
President Douglas Ngobeni said Cosas believed that private schools should not be allowed to continue operating if public schools remained closed.
Provincial Education Department spokesperson Sihle Mlotshwa discouraged these threats and urged the student body to use more productive and progressive ways to engage on the matter.
Basic Education Department spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga urged police to take action should learners’ rights be infringed by groups or individuals.
National Alliance of Independent Schools Association chairperson Mandla Mthembu said they considered the threats to disrupt schooling “totally unwarranted and unacceptable”.
He said he trusted that law enforcement agencies would act to protect schools against any illegal action.
Mthembu said they were aware of Cosas members who went around threatening private schools by picketing outside.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced last Thursday the closure of public schools from yesterday to August 24, with exceptions made for Grade 12 learners and teachers, who would be given a break of one week.
They are expected back at school on Monday.
Mthembu said the decision by Ramaphosa to allow independent schools to remain open was taken after extensive consultations and after due consideration of the cogent arguments provided by the sector.