South Africa: Schools Cannot Simply Be Either Open or Closed - We Have to Be Flexible


Opening a particular school is not an on-off switch. We need to expect that and plan for when people in our school community will contract the virus. And when that happens, those adults and children need to be supported.

In the past week, I have been thinking a lot about trust: How it is formed, how it is maintained, how it is broken? Where and how is trust made visible? At what points, in which levels of society and between which institutions and the individuals that make up these structures can we strengthen trust?

The significant fear and anxiety of parents relating to sending their children back to school is understandable. We have been told to limit our individual freedoms for the sake of keeping ourselves and our community safe - with combating a global virus compared to waging a war - and now as case numbers rise, we are expected to send our children into the battlefield.

The school debates have waged from "children are safer: they are less likely to contract the virus, they are not super transmitters (unlike flu), when they get it, it's mild and they don't die", to "have you seen the 70 cases in...

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