EDITORIAL | Too many opinions, not enough science on schools

Ideas

EDITORIAL | Too many opinions, not enough science on schools

There’s a lot of short-term thinking on kids and Covid-19. What we need are long-term solutions

Editorial

Germany has about 200,000 Covid-19 infections and a death rate hovering around 9,000 – just short of double SA’s number of deaths. The European country, which recently reopened its schools, did its own research to try to establish the risk associated with sending children back to school. 

The study, carried out by the University Hospital in Dresden, showed there were very few coronavirus antibodies among the 2,000 children and teachers who were tested. The results showed that schools did not become coronavirus hot spots as had been feared.

Of course it is but one of thousands of studies on the virus but at least Germany was proactive in its approach. Instead of just relying on opinions – each with a different take on what to do about Covid-19 and our schools – it turned to science to try to make sense of it all. Perhaps SA should consider doing something similar and launch its own study on the implications of the reopening of schools, considering the myriad factors we need to take into account. Because at the moment it is near impossible to get a clear picture. The Sunday Times (https://www.timeslive.co.za/sunday-times/news/2020-07-19-teachers-plead-for-new-timetable-as-covid-19-infections-spike/) this past weekend reported that five teacher unions want schools to be closed immediately, while an alliance of private schools and the Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools (Fedsas) want pupils to stay in class. ..

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