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Should private nursery schools re-open?

Published Jun 5, 2020

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CAPE TOWN -

The Schools Support Centre (SSC) and Labour union Solidarity’s professional guild wants to take the department of social development and cooperative governance to court if private nursery schools can’t reopen after the Covid-19 lockdown.

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While the Department of Basic Education announced the reopening of school for grades 7 and 12 on Monday June 8, the two organisations are unclear about the reopening of independent and private nursery schools.

“During lockdown, the reopening of schools and private nursery schools has caused constant uncertainty among parents, learners and teachers,” said Melanie Buys from the SSC.

“The regulations clearly allow for the phasing in of Grade R learners and learners in the lower grades.

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“However, these regulations only apply to schools registered with the department of education and, as such, private nursery schools that fall under the department of social development are excluded,” she said.

The SSC and occupational guild want nursery schools to resume on July 6 and said they’ve written to ministers, Lindiwe Zulu and Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma respectively, and would bring an application before the Pretoria High Court if they receive no response.

"The service they provide is of crucial importance for the development of young children who benefit from the educational stimulation they get at these schools,” said Marisa Engelbrecht from the occupational guild.

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“Denying them this stimulation can have far-reaching consequences for their school careers," she said.

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