By Humairaa Mayet
Worry and anxiety are on the rise within communities across the country after the return dates for grades R, 6, and 11 were finalised for 6 July 2020. Many are opposed to the proposal made by the Department of Education, especially since the number of Covid-19 cases has been increasing exponentially. Moreover, many schools that had opened for grades 7 and 12 last month have had to close due to the rapid spread of the virus among students and teachers.
A webinar by Muslims for Humanity hosted Professor Salim Abdul Karim who addressed issues surrounding the return of learners to schools.
Between March and July, evidence has been uncovered showing that children are at a lower risk of acquiring the coronavirus, and when they do, it is far milder than it is in adults – many children present no symptoms at all. Severe effects occur in only a handful of children, but it has been proven that the majority of those affected are able to recover.
Children have a higher chance of contracting the virus when going shopping than they do when going to school. Most importantly, “children need stimulation”. The lockdown has led to millions of children having no contact at all with the outside world and has distorted their views of reality. If children continue to stay at home, it is likely that they may lose their ability to interact with others.
Although adults have a higher risk of facing severe symptoms after being infected with Covid-19, those under 60 years old are low-risk patients, thus many educators would successfully be able to return to their positions without any qualms. Adults over 60, those with two or more co-morbidities, and those who suffer from diabetes or hypertension are patients who are highly at risk, and if an individual who faces these factors were to contract the coronavirus, it is likely to prove fatal. Teachers who suffer from the aforementioned conditions should not return to their positions, but stay at home or opt for administrative tasks.
Featured image via Twitter.