The DA says it is preparing court papers to file an urgent application to force the government to reinstate five-day schooling on a normal attendance basis.
DA Federal Leader, John Steenhuisen, says he is compiling court papers to bring an urgent court application.
The COVID-19 Lock Down regulations require learners to rotate, attending classes on specific days.
Steenhuisen described the policy as irrational, unjustifiable, unfair, and simply outrageous.
“Without a rational justification, denying schoolchildren their constitutional right to an education is a gross miscarriage of justice. DA has therefore approached the High Court to compel schools to open fully and immediately,” said Steenhuisen.
He argued there was no justification for continuing with rotational schooling. In the current South African context, this policy does not provide any benefit in terms of reducing infections.
Steenhuisen said the purpose of the policy was to enable 1 million social distances in classrooms, thereby taking pressure off the health system by slowing the spread of the virus. Yet, the health system did not come under pressure from the virus during the fourth wave.
He claimed most schoolchildren lost more than half of their schooling in 2020 and 2021, and that hundreds of thousands dropped out entirely due to indirect effects of COVID-19 regulations.
Steenhuisen said that in 2021 alone, some 370 000 to 700 000 learners dropped out of school, adding to the already burgeoning ranks of youth not in education, employment, or skills training.
According to DA Federal Leader, rotational schooling is also contributing to inequality, as it disproportionately impacts poor children who cannot afford to miss school to receive the benefits of their school nutrition.
Steenhuisen said poor quality education is the second biggest factor driving poverty and inequality in South Africa.