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Transforming Society

Securing Rights

Restoring Dignity

Media Statement: SAHRC on learners returning to school

Attention: Editors and Reporters
18 August 2020

The South African Human Rights Commission (the SAHRC or the Commission) welcomes President Ramaphosa’s announcement on Saturday 15 August 2020 of the further easing of lockdown restrictions in the coming week, while echoing the President’s call for extra vigilance to prevent a spike in infections.
However, the Commission is concerned by reports from a recent survey conducted for Teacher Unions that there are schools not yet ready to receive learners into safe environments with basic precautionary measures in place such as access to water, sanitation, sanitisers and masks.
For this reason, the Commission will intensify its monitoring of schools in the days and weeks ahead through the following:
1.    Commission monitors are currently visiting schools to assess the availability of basic hygiene and safety amenities and PPEs and the provision of food and learning materials.

2.    An electronic survey will be conducted in the coming week on water, sanitation, PPEs and provision of food and learning materials.

3.    A Basic Education Indaba will take place on 19 August 2020 where education stakeholders will propose concrete solutions to mitigate the effects of the pandemic and National State of Disaster on the right to a basic education and related rights.
Reports on all of the above will be provided to the Department of Basic Education and Provincial Departments of Education.
The Commission calls on all education stakeholders to use the week ahead to prepare for the safe return of all learners on 24 August 2020.

– Ends –
Issued by the South African Human Rights Commission
Gushwell Brooks – Communications Co-ordinator Tel: 082 645 8573 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The South African Human Rights Commission.

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The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

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