A study by University of Johannesburg (UJ) researchers and the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) has found that 60% of South African adults do not want schools to reopen this year.
The researchers said this data is representative at a national level and is based on a sample size of 2,569.
The study found that only about 13% of South Africans believe schools should reopen for all grades, while approximately 21% said that schools should only reopen for Grade 7 and 12 learners.
The remaining 5.4% said that they did not know what the best choice is.
South African research chair in Social Change at UJ Professor Kate Alexander said that the findings of this survey will come as a blow to the government’s current strategy for schools.
“It may want to reconsider its present policy,” said Alexander.
Alexander told MyBroadband that her personal beliefs are in alignment with the results of this study.
“In my personal opinion, all schools should be closed for now. Keeping them open right now is bad for South Africa and a mistake for government,” Alexander said.
The results of this survey are tabulated below.
|Support for re-opening schools|
|Schools should re-open for all grades||13.1%|
|Schools should only re-open for Grade 7 and Grade 12 learners||21.1%|
|Schools should not reopen this year||60.4%|
Support by demographic
The researchers also segmented the data by a variety of demographics, including individual monthly income and gender.
The data discovered that high-income respondents – who earn an income in excess of R20,000 – were more likely than other respondents to believe schools should be open for all grades.
Additionally, women were significantly more supportive than men when it came to a partial opening of schools, with 26% of female respondents believing schools should reopen exclusively for Grade 7 and Grade 12 learners. 17% of men held the same belief.
Demographic data from this survey is tabulated below.
By individual monthly income
|Support for re-opening schools by individual monthly income|
|Statement||Less than R1,001||R1,001- R2,500||R2,501 – R5,000||R5,001 – R20,000||R20,000+||Unknown||Total|
|Schools should re-open for all grades||13%||9%||11%||17%||37%||13%||14%|
|Schools should only re-open for Grade 7 and Grade 12 learners||18%||26%||27%||16%||14%||18%||21%|
|Schools should not reopen this year||67%||61%||55%||58%||41%||65%||60%|
|Support for re-opening schools by gender|
|Schools should re-open for all grades||14%||12%||13%|
|Schools should only re-open for Grade 7 and Grade 12 learners||17%||26%||21%|
|Schools should not reopen this year||63%||57%||60%|