There is no clear evidence that the majority of provinces will be ready to reopen schools on June 1 says Allen Thompson, president of the National Teachers Union Picture Courtney Africa/ African News Agency
There is no clear evidence that the majority of provinces will be ready to reopen schools on June 1 says Allen Thompson, president of the National Teachers Union Picture Courtney Africa/ African News Agency

'Why we won't resume teaching on June 1': Teacher Union

By Allen Thompson Time of article published May 25, 2020

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OPINION - THERE is no clear evidence that the majority of provinces will be ready to reopen schools on June 1.

Our point of departure is that the evidence of the state of readiness manifests in what happens at the school level, and as pupils head for school and back from their homes. The primary evidence needed is what has been accomplished at the school level. On scholar transport, the provincial presentations failed to specify the arrangements.

Most provinces have reported that teachers and non-teaching staff will be oriented by district or circuit officials “when schools reopen”.

What happens on June 1 when the pupils arrive, since teacher-orientation has not yet been done? Only one province alluded to the handling of teachers with co-morbidities. Even so, the handling of confidential information related to some of these co-morbidities has not been addressed.

With respect to pupils, only two provinces alluded to pupils with co-morbidities, and that such pupils will be withheld from attending school until it is medically safe to do so. We reassure the school community that our members won’t be available to resume their duties - not until the basic education department has put all the necessary precautionary measures in place to safeguards teachers, pupils and all other employees.

We are committed to teach our nation, but their lives are as important as our members’ lives.

Allen Thompson is the president of National Teachers Union (Natu).

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