In Eshowe, when Covid-19 began, the government put in extremely strict quarantines. The resilient communities who treasure their Africa Classroom Connection classrooms did the most extraordinary thing - they invited the students to quarantine and live at school!
Many students need to walk exceptionally far distances back and forth to school. It would pose high risk to walk because during the pandemic, they wouldn’t be able to stop at homes along the way for water anymore. Families were given the choice, and many jumped at the chance so the students’ learning would not be disrupted. Kids arrived with some personal items and limited essentials. They were issued a sleeping mat and sleeping bag if they didn’t have one.
By day the students would learn at their desks, and by night they would push their desks to the back and take our their little mats for sleep. They would be up at the crack of dawn to line up to use the bathrooms and wash up. This was all thanks to committed teachers who oversaw the children.
School is not taken for granted in South Africa. Not every child can go to school, so in essence the school is the heart of the community and the hand into the future. Not even the pandemic would be allowed to keep them closed.