School’s back! But to make it safe during the Covid-19 pandemic – or what everyone now calls “the new normal” – we need to ensure the safety of the learners and teachers.

It will be a strange year for learners, and one that will earn a write-up in the history books, where despite the difficulties, the children continued to give their best at school.

The Mandela Education Programme was recently blessed with a donation of 1 000 masks from Kokosi Primary School in, Fochville, Gauteng, has put them to good use as principal Rose Ngobeni wasted no time in getting the children back on track with their school work.

One of the most heartening “take-aways” the Covid-19 pandemic has given us is the way in which civil society has banded together to make a difference despite regulatory challenges and disruptions to distribution.

Globally we will look back on the year of the mask and remember that in times of need we can overcome if we all just work together, much like the mantra behind Nelson Mandela International Day.