Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. File Picture.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. File Picture.

School re-opening announcement postponed... again

By Sne Masuku Time of article published May 18, 2020

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Durban - Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga will not brief the media on Monday as expected on the state of readiness for the reopening of schools.

The much-anticipated announcement has been postponed to Tuesday.

The Daily News has learnt that Motshekga will be meeting teachers unions on Monday to iron out issues regarding the reopening of schools.

In a statement issued this morning, the department said Motshekga will only brief the media on Tuesday in Pretoria at 4pm. 

Motshekga was expected to brief the media about the preparations of reopening of schools and also announce the dates for the reopening of schools after meeting with the Council of Education Ministers (CEM) last week in order to consider the work done by provinces including the delivery of Covid-19 essentials.

Unions had anticipated that Mostheka would not be ready to announce the dates for the reopening of schools since there were still a number of issues that were not resolved in order to guarantee the safety of the pupils and teachers.

Teacher unions have warned of a rushed reopening of schools when provinces were not ready.

According to the unions, only two provinces, the Western Cape and Gauteng had indicated that they were ready for reopening of schools and the rest of the provinces were not.

The unions claimed that essentials such as sanitisers, masks and other Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) have not been delivered.

In a joint statement issued by the unions including the major unions such as Sadtu, Natu and Naptosa last week, the unions made it clear that they were not about to risk the lives of their members by allowing teachers to return to school when their facety was not guaranteed.

They also complained that there was no indication of what is expected to be done the minute the pupils arrive at the school gate.

The National Teachers Union (Natu) said based on the meeting with the department on Saturday, it became clear that none of the provinces was ready for the reopening of schools.

Before schools are re-opened, teacher unions have made the following demands of the Education Department:

- A realistic plan for social distancing.

- Repairing of all schools vandalised during the lockdown.

- A schools nutrition plan to be prepared.

- Ensuring that the new curriculum is ready and delivered to teachers before schools re-open.

- Ensure that substitute teachers are employed and ready to report for duty.

- The provision of water and sanitation.

- Schools and offices to be disinfected.


Daily News

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