Pupils at Melpark Primary School in Johannesburg, South Africa have to show a consent signed by parents before being allowed access to the premises.
On Monday, pupils in grades six to eleven returned to school after four months of interruption due to the coronavirus. There’s hand disinfection with alcohol-based gel and adherence for strict social distance.
But parents find it hard to hide their fears.
“It’s scary. It’s really scary because I keep working from home. But I have to drive my daughter to school. And she’s also scared. All these rules and everything makes her nervous, you know”, said Yoland Manthata, a parent.
Crumbi Munyai is another parent concerned about his ward’s safety.
“This pandemic that we are in now, is very, very deadly and very serious. So as a parent, to stay with my kid at home without getting an education is a problem, also bringing her to school it’s also a problem because I don’t think they will practice that social distancing as a school, even though the teachers and the staff can tell them to do the social distance. But they themselves, you know, children are children”, he said.
Parents’ fears are also explained by figures from a first-hand experience. For the past month, primary and secondary school leavers have been returning to the classroom in South Africa.
Since then, nearly 2,740 teachers and 1,260 students have contracted the virus.