During the national lockdown, there is one thing we can all agree on – the double standards and contradictory regulations which leave South Africans in a state of confusion when trying to compact the spread of Covid-19. From curfews to banning of alcohol and cigarettes – the lockdown has been nothing short of a whirl wind of regulations.
One specific regulation which has stood out to me in the last week, is the President’s announcement on 23 July 2020 that public schools would “take a break” from 27 July 2020 until 24 August 2020 while private schools were given the go-ahead to remain open.
On the one hand, certain South African unions such as the SA Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) were in support of the national break for public schools due to the spike in Covid-19 cases. However, on the other hand, why were private schools excluded from this break? There is a clear differentiation between the private and public education sector which suggests that private schools have “special treatment” because they are more financially equipped to handle the spike in the virus and later on will have an upper hand on their education as compared to children in public schools who simply cannot afford private school education.
There is clearly inequality in the education sector which needs to be addressed, and the above differentiation seems small now, however, in fact, is actually a much bigger problem in reality which needs attention from the government.
We, at Van Schalkwyk Attorneys, realise the unideal circumstances and various hardships which not only students are facing but many South Africans due to these unfortunate circumstances.
We would like to remind everyone that when you find yourself in an unpleasant state of mind, simply remind yourself – this too shall pass!