PETITION: To All Parents, Guardians & Communities

COVID-19 Education Crisis Committee

Call to Action:

The government must close ALL (public & private) schools until Covid-19 infections are significantly reduced and the pandemic is under control

Motivation for this Call to Action

South Africa is in the midst of a deadly Covid-19 pandemic, and as at 16 August more than 587 000 people have been infected with Covid-19, and more than 11 800people have died from Covid-19. The information black out and lack of testing means that many more are infected and many more have died. Our learners, teacher and communities are in danger. Our public schools have no space for physical distancing. Most are ill-equipped with PPEs; infrastructure is poor and the environment is traumatic for learning. Schools also risk spreading the virus to homes and communities. The World Health Organisation and the experience of many countries shows that it is dangerous to keep schools open in the context of high community transmission.

While we value education, the academic year is already lost. We need to protect lives – our children, educators and the community. We can make up for schooling, and we can use the opportunity to transform our current education into a quality education that is equitable. As parents, together we can beat Covid 19. But, we must act now, with urgency. We cannot give up.

What needs to be done?

As Covid-19 Education Crisis Committee, we therefore petition Minister Angie Motshekga and President Cyril Ramaphosa to close schools until community transmissions are low and the pandemic is under control:

  1. Close ALL schools, public and private, for learning and all other activities until it is safe to re-open.
  2. Cancel the 2020 academic year for all learners in public and private schools; and restart the academic year when it is safe and Covid 19 is significantly contained.
  3. Promote all learners from Grades 1 to 11 and restructure the curriculum in 2021 to make up for learning time lost.
  4. Mobilise teachers to ensure that learning continues and produce educational materials regularly for collection at schools; and through suitable online platforms. Teachers should spend the rest of 2020 preparing to deliver a curriculum that combines catching up the lost months of 2020 with the needs of the new grades.
  5. Matrics/Grade 12s apply and must be accepted for university entry for 2021 based on their Grade 11 results. All universities must provide a bridging course for all 1st year students in 2021. Government must honour its promises for free university education for all students from 2021.
  6. All students in this bridging year must learn an African language, including Afrikaans, that is not their mother tongue to promote solidarity in SA.
  7. Provide government meal vouchers for all learners at school directly to families, to ensure they have meals and essentials. (This method will help all learners & reduce corruption.)
  8. Provide data to all learners, to ensure they can continue learning at home.
  9. Employ permanent workers to fix, secure and maintain all school infrastructure, water and sanitation, and ensure schools are ready and fit for learning when schools reopen.

Petition Issued by Covid-19 Education Crisis Committee: For more information: Call Nosipho on 0843773003 or email:

Date: 19/08/2020

The CECC brings together parents pressure groups, civil society organisations and social movements that share the concern of the impact of Covid-19 infections and fatalities on education in South Africa, and are also committed to the transformation of the education system towards an equitable and quality education system. For the founding statement of the CECC download here.

Petition to Close Schools

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