Sixty percent of adults say that schools ‘should not reopen this year’. This was a key finding from a survey conducted by researchers from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC).

The figures from this latest survey will come as a blow to the government, as it continues to ponder what to do about schools. Given the results, it may want to reconsider its present policy.

The research team decided to release details of their full report in advance, in order to inform the national and policy debate that has become increasingly intense. Scientific validity has not been sacrificed. The results are representative at a national level, having been weighted by race, age and educational level.

Respondents were asked: ‘Schools have begun to reopen; which one of the following statements comes closest to your view.’ Only 13% agreed that ‘schools should reopen for all grades’ – the government’s position; and 21% said that ‘schools should reopen for Grade 7 and Grade 12 learners only. The remainder were in the ‘don’t know’ category.

Excluding the ‘don’t knows’, the proportion opposed to schools reopening rises to 64%, with only 14% backing the government’s position. Confidence intervals have been…



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