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Schools are not ready to reopen, says teachers' union

South Africa - Cape Town - Tresh Shaurwa (6) and Qhama Mfengwana (6) read to each other in the new library. The rebuilt and refurbished Liyabona Library at Holy Cross Primary School in District 6. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

South Africa - Cape Town - Tresh Shaurwa (6) and Qhama Mfengwana (6) read to each other in the new library. The rebuilt and refurbished Liyabona Library at Holy Cross Primary School in District 6. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Published May 20, 2020

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CAPE TOWN -

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced that schools will reopen from June 1, but the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) says schools are nowhere close to resuming classes.

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“Independent and public ordinary schools will open even in the metropolitan areas. Every school must adhere and observe the health and safety protocols that will be put in place,” said Motshekga in her announcement.

“We will start with grades 7 and 12 and small schools. The other grades will follow in due course,” she added.

Teachers are said to be back at school on May 25 and will receive training about health and safety standards. Mothshekga said that schools across the country will also receive Covid-19 essentials such as masks and sanitisers.

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“We believe the first of June is too early for what we have seen in the plans. We are not convinced they will be able to meet all the preconditions laid out in the Covid-19 regulations,” said Sadtu general secretary Mugwena Maluleke in a television interview on eNCA.

“This class size will not be maintained. This is the question that has to be taken back to the department, to ask if they are really ready to be able to maintain this particular class size,” he said.

Meanwhile, parents have expressed their concerns on social media and looking at homeschooling alternatives.

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