Four out of five people opposed to sending kids back to school
With the announcement this week by Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga that Grade 7 and Grade 12 students will return to school on 1 June, the safety of learners back in the school environment has become a hot – sometimes near-hysterical – debate.
Social media, as always, has come alive with both informed and ill-informed comments as parents air their concerns.
“The number of people with this disease is increasing daily. Our government wants kids to return to school; no parent should allow their kids to go to school; this a death trap,” said one.
“No school ‘till we’re on level one. I can afford them repeating the grade next year, but I’m not sending them out to die!” said another.
Eighty percent of South Africans are concerned
According to a study conducted by market research company Ipsos, a massive 80% of South Africans are concerned about the prospect and nearly a quarter (24%) say they will definitely not send their children to school in the next few weeks.
“Four out of every five online South Africans are thus opposed to sending their children back to school at this stage,” Ipsos points out.
Only 6% of those surveyed are “very comfortable” with the prospect, while 14% are “somewhat comfortable”.
It must be emphasised that they study is conducted online, and so only represents the views of those South Africans who have regular access to the internet.
Most countries are worried about the reopening of schools
Ipsos conducts the survey in a number of countries and most show that people are uncomfortable with sending children back to school.
“In terms of children returning to school, the majority of respondents in Italy and South Africa (56%), followed by Canada and Spain (53%), are ‘not comfortable with doing this in the coming weeks,” Ipsos says.
“People in Brazil are the most against children returning to school, with more than two in five respondents (44%) saying they definitely wouldn’t do this, followed by Japan (30%), and the United States (28%).”
The study finds that here are only two countries where people are fairly comfortable with allowing their children to return to school. These are Australia (59%) and South Korea (49%).