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Cosas protesters target early childhood development centre at private school

26 January 2021 7:02 PM
Tags:
School protest
COSAS
Education
Department of Basic Education
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
Congress of South African Students
Felicity Coughlan
ADvTECH
ECD
Lockdown
COVID-19
re-opening of schools
Charterhouse School

'When they realised Charterhouse School is closed, they focused on ECD with insults and lack of rationality' - Felicity Coughlan

The Congress of South African Students (Cosas) on Tuesday picketed outside a private school in Roodepoort, threatening to shut it down.

They were joined by members of the ANC Youth League (Ancyl).

Over the weekend, the Department of Basic Education released revised dates for the re-opening of schools for 2021 amid the second wave of Covid-19.

Pupils at private schools are allowed to go back to class on 1 February, while public school learners will return two weeks later.

RELATED: DBE postpones the reopening of schools to 15 February

Cosas has threatened to shut down those private schools that re-open.

Charterhouse School however says it is following the rules which stipulate that early childhood development (ECD) centres are permitted to operate.

RELATED: ECDs don't have to close their doors along with schools - Necda

"We are therefore very angered at the displays of intimidation today" says private education provider ADvTECH in a statement.

"We would like to reiterate that our schools are working online until February 1, but, as permitted, our ECD centres are open. The wellbeing and safety of our staff, our young learners and their parents are of the utmost importance."

Bruce Whitfield interviews Dr Felicity Coughlan, academic director of the ADvTECH Group and director of the Independent Institute of Education.

Initially a small contingent of protesters appeared at the school. It was fortunately early enough that we could ask the parents of the very tiny children we look after to not come in.

Felicity Coughlan, Director - Independent Institute of Education and academic director - ADvTECH Group

The protesters demanded that schools close.

When it was pointed out that Charterhouse School was in fact closed, they then shifted focus to the ECD component she says.

They moved their focus to why ECD should also not be open and then the rhetoric around to single calendars, as if that's going to solve any of the country's core educational challenges.

Felicity Coughlan, Director - Independent Institute of Education and academic director - ADvTECH Group

It was deeply unpleasant; all sorts of ad hominem-type insults.

Felicity Coughlan, Director - Independent Institute of Education and academic director - ADvTECH Group

The lack of rationality today would seem to suggest that the rule of law and constitutional rights and the safety of young people and the right to have our own calendars - none of those basic facts seem to be influencing any of the emerging rhetoric on the topic!

Felicity Coughlan, Director - Independent Institute of Education and academic director - ADvTECH Group

Listen to the interview on The Money Show:




26 January 2021 7:02 PM
Tags:
School protest
COSAS
Education
Department of Basic Education
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
Congress of South African Students
Felicity Coughlan
ADvTECH
ECD
Lockdown
COVID-19
re-opening of schools
Charterhouse School

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