Questions over government’s readiness to reopen schools
School Management Teams are expected to report for duty at schools across the country this coming Monday.
South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) has urged its members not to report for duty as schools begin preparing to reopen on Monday, fearing that the Department of Basic Education has not taken all precaution to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Schools have been disrupted by the pandemic, and have been closed since March.
Teachers urged to take caution ahead of schools reopening
Earlier this month, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced plans to rescue the academic year, which include pupils and teachers’ return to classrooms.
However, Sadtu secretary-general, Mugwena Maluleke has urged the union’s members not to report for duty until there is assurance that precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus have been adhered to.
“We have noticed and observed that they are not ready,” he is quoted by the.
“They are ill-prepared for the opening of schools. They have not as yet procured the personal protective equipment such as masks, sanitisers and all the other requirements in terms of alert 4 requirements in the regulations. So they are not obliged to go to work on Monday. They should not go to work unless those things are there and there is evidence those things are there.”Mugwena Maluleke, South African Democratic Teacher’s Union
Clarity over COVID-19 precautions
Elsewhere, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has asked for clarity on a few key issues regarding schools’ reopening.
“I call on the National Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga to urgently clarify and support to ensure readiness for the proposed phased reopening of schools in the Western Cape,” DA spokesperson on Education, Lorraine Botha said. “Before we can move forward, the national Minister needs to address core issues.”Lorraine Botha, DA spokesperson on Education
The issues the party is asking for clarity on include the transportation of children to and from school, overcrowding of classrooms, and provisions made for special needs pupils.
Grade 7 to 12 learners are expected to return to the classroom on 1 June across the country.