The bold statement comes after the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) resolved that schools should close immediately as the country continues its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
Sadtu said evidence showed that teaching and learning had been ineffective under the current conditions and have since written to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on the matter.
Schools closed doors when the country went into lockdown in March, however several grades have since been allowed back into the classroom.
In a statement on Tuesday, 14 July 2020, the Department of Basic Education had cited CEM which said groups and individuals who were not empowered by law do not have the authority to close schools.
The department said the decision for schools to close would be made strictly by the Cabinet.
“The CEM has resolved to take legal action against all individuals and groups that continue to disrupt schooling,” it said in a statement.
“We would like to emphasise the fact that the reopening and closure of schools is a legislative responsibility accorded to national and provincial authorities only.
“The CEM has further noted the resolution by the South African Democratic Teachers Union, in which they call for the closure of schools. The decision on whether schools will be closed or not will be taken by Cabinet.”
The CEM added over and above Section 51 of the South African Schools Act, which provides for homeschooling, there were three additional arrangements available to parents who chose not to bring their children back to school.
Written by: Y