Union raises concerns over teachers returning to schools early

Reading Time: < 1 minute

The National Professional Teachers Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa) says it does not understand why teachers should return to school two weeks before schools reopen.  

Teachers are expected back at school from February 1 to start with what has been described as administrative duties.  

Historically, teachers would return two or three days before learners re-open to complete preparations.  

But, Naptosa in KwaZulu-Natal says this will put educators at a greater risk of contracting COVID-19.  

Provincial Spokesperson Thirona Moodley says teachers could simply work from home until the learners return.

Ordinarily, teachers together with managers go back just two days before learners do at the beginning of the academic year. School planning, timetabling, teacher load and allocations are all done in the previous year. So that has already been done and for you to expect managers to go for a whole three weeks with no learners there and then teachers to return two weeks before, its inordinately long. It’s not necessary, teachers are asking us what are we going to do for three weeks, or two weeks.”   

Meanwhile, the decision by government to delay the re-opening of schools has been largely welcomed by many but criticised by some.  

On Friday, the Basic Education Department announced the delayed reopening of schools by two weeks due to concerns about the second wave of the coronavirus. 

Learners will now return to school February 15.  

In the video below, Education Expert, Prof Mary Metcalfe explains how this could further affect the academic year: