South African teachers say while they wish to return to the classrooms to catch up on lost time, they remain apprehensive and fearful for how their safety will be prioritised at school.

Teachers across the country, except for KwaZulu-Natal, are expected to return to work on Monday morning to prepare for the re-opening of schools next month. South Africa will move to lockdown alert level 3 on June 1.

Some teachers who spoke to the SABC say protective equipment delivered to schools is insufficient.

“I feel some anticipation; I’m not sure how things are going to work. However, I do feel that it’s necessary for us to get back to help the kids that are not getting any work.

I am a bit nervous, if we do have underlying conditions, what safety conditions have been taken for the teachers?

The amount of stuff delivered by the Department is not enough for the teachers arriving on Monday.  There is some fear as there should be. I have basically been at the frontline of getting everything sorted, sanitation, hygiene, cleaning.

I am not as fearful but I think once the kids come in, that’s when the anxiety is going to set in, it’s their lives more importantly.”

This comes after Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, announced that schooling will resume on June 1, with Grades 7 and 12 expected to be the first to return to classes. She emphasised that the safety of children will be a priority as they plan to open schools. This after teacher unions disputed the readiness of the sector, saying that schools were not ready to receive educators and learners on the proposed dates.

In the video below, Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga briefs the media on the re-opening of schools:

Motshekga says that a safe school environment is in the interest of all stakeholders in the sector.

SA moves to level 3 on June 1

On Sunday evening, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the country will move to lockdown alert level 3 on June 1. Level three will see the opening of more sectors and learners returning to school gradually.

In the video below, President Cyril Ramaphosa announces that he country will move to lockdown alert level 3 on June 1.