What pupils think about going back to class
Hayden Hiles, 17, of Bethelsdorp — head boy of Linkside High School
There are two sides to the question [if we feel safe going back to school]. On the one side ... it’s like we are a science experiment for the government to see if we are able to return to our normal lives, and on the other hand I feel that education should be a priority right now because there is not a lot of time left until we go to university.
I don’t think that there is enough time to catch up because look at all the time lost so far. We have missed more than two months of work. Face-to-face teaching is much better.
Sibusiso Draai, 17, Walmer High School
I think the department of education made a very quick decision with regard to reopening of schools and I also think that life should be the first priority, but it sounds like we don’t have a choice.
For now I think time is still on our side but it would be lovely if the department of education could give us 100% support and if the teachers could walk with us step by step.
Caleb Sysaar, 17, of Schauderville — Paterson High School
In all honestly, I don’t think that it is safe to go back to school. In my honest option most children aren’t really prepared for the case of corona because maybe some children aren’t in possession of masks or hand sanitiser since the shops are running out of them for purchases, so I’m not sure.
Sadly I don’t think there is enough time left and the the trial exams are coming up.
Chase de Doncker, 17, of Westering — Alexander High School
I don’t feel safe going back. I’m sure nobody feels safe even taking into account all the safety measures being put in place. I don’t think it’s enough to completely prevent the spread of the virus.
It was said there’s no trials exams so the time we’d normally spend on studying and writing exams can be used to cover the school work so I feel there is enough time to cover school work.
Ayathandwa Payi, 17, of Bridgemead — Linkside High head girl
I am from a school that cares deeply about their scholars [and] that would ensure that all safety precautions are dealt with as best as possible but I don’t want to only speak form a point of privilege. I honestly feel scared about going back to school. We are scared that we are putting our families at risk, putting our teachers at risk and putting our friends at risk.
We have lost two months of properly attending school but we can’t actually blame anyone for that because no-one ever anticipated that we would go through this. What we can do as matriculants is still push hard to get the results that we promised ourselves.
Asantê de Lange, 18, of Sherwood — prefect at Grey High School
I do feel safe returning to school because I do believe my school can supply all the health and safety measures that are required and I do know that they have already sanitised the entire school and put up sanitation stands.
For the matrics at Grey High School, I definitely think that there is more than enough time to cover the work syllabus especially for most of us who have been working throughout most of the lockdown.
Marika de Jong, 18, of Framesby — Bethel Christian Academy
Yes, I do feel safe returning to school since my school has all the safety measures in place. I do think there is enough time to cover the work ahead but I am still very stressed about the future and the exams.
Lizaan Human, 17, of Steytler Township — Linkside High School.
I do feel safe, I trust the school will create a safe and healthy environment for us to return to. There will be hiccups here and there, but with team work from the teachers and the learners we will be able to succeed.
Personally, I do not think there is enough time to cover the work ahead, that is why we as learners can not afford to be slacking off during this period, We have to work individually and as one.
Daniel Nash, 12, of Framesby — Lorraine Primary.
I do feel safe to go back to school because my school keeps informing us of the safety measures they have put in place. I do think there is enough time to complete our work as my school has sent me a lot of work in lockdown so we are not that far behind.
Amy Johnson, of North End — Linkside High School.
I don’t fear the coronavirus. The department of education has made it explicitly clear that there will be preventative measures put in place. There will be thermal thermometers at the doorways and entrance and not one child will be allowed to enter the schools without a mask on. They are ensuring that social distancing will be continuing so why should I be scared when our government is really doing its utmost best to make sure that we can still have an education and be protected from the coronavirus at the same time.
We shouldn’t have a victim mentality about things because the victim mentality doesn’t get anyone far. I believe that whatever we put our minds to we can do if we really aim and strive to really work hard to finish the syllabus within this year. I believe that we can actually finish the syllabus.
Thabo Juqu, 19, of Kwanobuhle — Solomon Mahlangu Senior Secondary School.
I cannot say much about how safe I feel as I have not yet been at school. However, the department of education is striving towards ensuring that the schools are safe for us as learners. How safe will I feel, will be determined by the measures put in place by the department. I’m definitely sure that there is still time to cover the remaining work as the June holidays have been cancelled. Most of the teachers in my school have been using electronic means to teach us, some of them have almost finished with the work for term two. I believe that schools must be opened as Covid-19 is still going to part of us. Our dreams and hopes must not be paused.
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