A cleaner sanitises desks at Khauhelo Junior primary School in Naledi, Soweto in preparation for its reopening on June 1. File photo: Photo Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency ANA)
A cleaner sanitises desks at Khauhelo Junior primary School in Naledi, Soweto in preparation for its reopening on June 1. File photo: Photo Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency ANA)

Angie Motshekga to provide update on reopening of schools today

By IOL Reporter Time of article published May 31, 2020

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Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, will brief the media to provide an update on the readiness for the reopening of schools on Sunday at 6pm.

According to the Western Cape Teachers' Forum, Motshekga is due to make an announcement on a new date for schools reopening after meeting with unions, MECs, HODs and governing bodies associations.

This comes after after strong opposition from various teacher unions and bodies. 

“This staggered approach we can’t do because the schools that won’t open are the schools that have been, for years and years, neglected,” said Basil Manuel, the executive director of the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of SA.

A joint survey conducted by South Africa's teacher unions showed that no more than 55 percent of principals reported being ready to resume teaching and learning when schools open on Monday. 

The Sunday Independent was given exclusive access to the results of the survey, which was conducted to strengthen the collaboration between the Basic Education Department and unions who share the goal of ensuring that schools are safe for teachers and learners to return.

In terms of provision of face masks, all provinces scored below 25 percent except Western Cape which scored 84 percent.

The leaked survey concluded that some challenges are common across as many as six provinces, such as:

  • inadequate water for Covid-19 requirements (6 provinces), 
  • water tanks that are required not yet delivered (6 provinces), 
  • insufficient masks delivered (two per person) (8 provinces). 

Based on these findings the unions are of the view that: “Once schools have the material necessities for return, educators and support staff can return. Once the teaching and support staff return - planning for teaching can commence.”

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