Teacher union, the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa) insists that the reopening of schools should be delayed as many schools are still not ready to accommodate learners.
Naptosa, the second largest teacher union, was among the education unions and other stakeholders that met Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga to discuss the partial reopening of school.
Motshekga had announced that Grades 7 and 12 learners will return to school from Monday, but there are reports suggesting this might not happen.
Motshekga is expected to give an update on the readiness for the reopening of schools at a briefing in Pretoria on Sunday.
In the video below, Minister Angie Motshekga visits schools to check for readiness to reopen amid the COVID-19 pandemic:
Naptosa’s Executive Director Basil Manuel says large areas in some provinces are not ready for the reopening of schools.
“There are large areas in some of the provinces that are not ready and so we appealed to the minister to say, ‘let’s delay the return of the learners to schools.’ Because even the circular that was published introduces new things like a much greater number of learners returning after the Grades 12’s and 7’s and the schools have not planned for that.”
Protocols and equipment at schools
The National Association of School Governing Bodies (NASGB) also said on Sunday that they have met with Motshekga and agreed that schools that do not have the necessary equipment and protocols in place, must not reopen on Monday.
However, no official communication has been issued by Motshekga’s department in this regard.
The association’s General-Secretary Matakanye Matakanya said all parents and teachers who observed that their school did not have the necessary Personal Protective Equipment or protocols in place, must contact the association and the department.
“We did meet with the Minister yesterday (Saturday). We agreed with the Minister that this coming week must be a week for mopping up. We really raised concerns that there are schools that do not have the non-negotiables. We are referring to water, PPEs, social distancing. The teachers, the parents … they must ensure that today they go into their schools and if there are things that really supposed to be in schools are not there they must alert us, they must alert the department.”
Below is the full statement by the NASBG.