South African schools complying with health protocols:survey

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CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 18: Grade 12 learners of Rosendaal Senior Secondary in Delft wear face masks donated by Metropolitan Life as they listen intently to their principal Ms Griselda Layman, as she teaches them on Day 83 of the national lockdown on June 18, 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa. South African schools reopened to Grade 7s and 12s on the 8th of June. (Photo by Roger Sedres/Gallo Images via Getty Images)
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – JUNE 18: Grade 12 learners of Rosendaal Senior Secondary in Delft wear face masks donated by Metropolitan Life as they listen intently to their principal Ms Griselda Layman, as she teaches them on Day 83 of the national lockdown on June 18, 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa. South African schools reopened to Grade 7s and 12s on the 8th of June. (Photo by Roger Sedres/Gallo Images via Getty Images)

A total of 95 percent of South African schools adhere to the health protocols issued by the department of health, a survey by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) revealed on Monday.

The SAHRC said they conducted an electronic survey at the end of August to check the schools’ readiness for the safe return of learners and received a total of 5,374 response from schools in all provinces across the country.

“About 93 percent of respondents reported that the school management team was aware of the minimum health and safety protocols that needed to be met before reopening,” said SAHRC spokesperson Gushwell Brooks.

The survey showed that 99 percent of respondents confirmed that every person on the school premises is required to wear a mask; 84 percent cleaned the schools before opening; 85 percent said they are complying with social distancing protocols.

“Social distancing regulations mean that schools must consider alternate curriculum delivery methods. 93 percent of schools reported that they would consider applying alternative timetable models for their learners,” said Brooks.

However, some schools also face challenges.

“Fourteen percent of respondents reported that their schools did not have a plan for the return of learners on August 24, 2020. Furthermore, 26 percent of respondents reported that there would be challenges in hygiene protocols when the additional learners returned,” Brooks said.

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