Reopening of schools: How parents can decide if their child is ready

By Rakhi Beekrum Time of article published May 26, 2020

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The phased reopening of schools has been a source of great anxiety for many parents and educators... and for good reason.

From this week, the South African Human Rights Commission announced it will be seeing to it that the Department of Basic Education lives up to its promise of ensuring the safety and readiness to reopen schools across the country.

Still, it doesn't alleviate fears. Sending their children back to school is certainly one of the toughest decisions parents will have to make. I do know that this is much easier said than done. It’s the first time that we are all in this position. Our number one goal is to do what is best for our children.

Here are some tips to help you decide:

1. Consider all available options and get as many facts as possible on each of those options.

2. Consider your child’s maturity, understanding of the virus and of preventative measures.

3. Consider your child’s health and immune system, as well as that of family members at home.

4. Engage with their school to understand the measures being implemented to prevent transmission of the virus. Schools are not all the same and each have different resources.

5. Understand that because each child and family is different, there is no one right decision for everyone.

6. Having considered the pros and cons of each option, choose the one that is in your child and family’s best interest.

Rakhi Beekrum is counselling psychologist. Find out more: www.rakhibeekrum.co.za

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