EXCLUSIVE: Nearly half of SA's schools are not ready to reopen on June 1 - survey
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Johannesburg - A joint survey conducted by South Africa's teacher unions has shown that no more than 55% of principals report 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 on Saturday.
The survey, which was completed on May 29, 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. A total of 6 616 principles across the country cparticipated in the online survey.
The school principals were asked questions related to institutional readiness and school management processes necessary for the return of learners on June 01.
The survey was based on the Department of Basic Education's guidelines and requirements such as the progress nationally in: delivery of sanitisers, contact with Circuit Managers, availability of cleaning materials for sanitisation, cleaning of classrooms and offices and contact with School Governing Bodies (SGBs).
In terms of adequate water for Covid-19 cleaning, the results shows that Gauteng and Western Cape scored above 80 percent in terms of readiness while the Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga scored low and the Eastern Cape a mere 40 percent.
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 6 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).
While some provinces have multiple challenges (4 challenges or more). Leading in this category is EC (9) and Mpumalanga (9), Limpopo (6), North West (5), KZN (4) and Northern Cape (4).
The results paint a bleak picture of the readiness to open schools on Monday. “Progress has been made but not enough to guarantee the safety of both teachers and learners,” read the survey findings.
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.”