Nationalisation is being bandied about, so play the game, ...

Ideas

Nationalisation is being bandied about, so play the game, private schools

Independents have a place, but at times like this and for solidarity’s sake they should align with public institutions

Columnist

Back in the day, you would sound really smart in my circle of young friends if you used the word “contradictions” a lot in social conversation. It was at once a Marxian reference to the conflicts inherent in capitalist societies as it was a way of signalling a higher level of social consciousness among fellow activists. It was, however, also a lazy way of explaining away things you did not understand.

There are a lot of contradictions going on right now. You can’t walk on the beach, but you can congregate in malls. You can’t visit family in their homes, but you can assemble in restaurants. You can go to casinos, but be damned if you go to church (thanks Joe Samuels). People are confused, but also angry, because they simply cannot make sense of these contradictions. One of the more difficult ones to resolve concerns schools.

Public schools must close, but private schools can stay open if they wish. The latter took some heat recently when the reopening of schools was extended from January 27 to February 15 because of the spike in infections and the burden on the health system as a result of increased hospitalisations. Many of the private institutions did not close, so our activist MEC for education in Gauteng, Panyaza Lesufi, visited some of them to change their minds with an unconvincing narrative about the movement of people amid a pandemic; unconvincing, because the department would not have postponed reopening were it not for pressure from unions and others...

This article is free to read if you register or sign in.

Sunday Times Daily

If you have already registered or subscribed, please sign in to continue.

Questions or problems?
Email helpdesk@timeslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.