Original Research

The paradox of the reopening of schools under the lockdown – An exposure of the continued inequalities within the South African educational sector: A theological decolonial view

Magezi E. Baloyi
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 77, No 4 | a6365 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v77i4.6365 | © 2021 Elijah M. Baloye | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 October 2020 | Published: 15 June 2021

About the author(s)

Magezi E. Baloyi, Discipline of Practical Theology, Department of Philosophy, Practical and Systematic Theology, School of Humanities, College of Human Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

The arrival of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in South Africa was responded to by a lockdown, which barred people from moving out of their homes unless for serious and stipulated reasons by government. Amongst other things, one of the most remarkable repercussions of the lockdown was the closing of the educational system. The call to reopen the public schools by the Minister of Basic Education after almost 2 months brought contestations from different sects of life, for instance, labour unions, parents and School Governing Body (SGB) representatives. Mistrust and suspicions developed amongst parents, SGB’s unions and the Department of Basic Education as a result. This has seen certain political parties and unions lodging court cases against the reopening decision. This was likely to be a protracted battle as the issue is between life and education. The aim of this research is to discover if these contestations are for the good of the school children or if there is another underlying issue.

Contribution: This article unveils the different contestations which are important for the South Africans regarding the shaping of the future through educational weapon. The contestations help open our eyes and make awareness as to where our democracy has done well and where it is still lacking.


Keywords

inequality; teachers; comorbidities; basic education; COVID-19; coronavirus disease 2019; reopening; trade unions.

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