Plans to get teachers back to schools on Monday thrown into disarray

Plans to get teachers back to school on Monday have been thrown into disarray after a provincial education department and a teachers’ union asked educators not to return. Image: SAMORN TARAPAN/123rf.com

Basic education minister Angie Motshekga’s plans to get teachers back to school on Monday have been thrown into disarray after a provincial education department and a teachers’ union asked educators not to return.

In a circular dated May 22, Mpumalanga education department’s acting head of education, Jabulani Nkosi, said teachers “must only report to schools at a date still to be confirmed by the department”.

The department wanted to make sure that personal protective equipment (PPEs) were delivered before educators and support staff return.

“The department is working round-the-clock to ensure that deliveries are undertaken in keeping with the rules and regulations of Covid-19. For now stay at home and stay safe,” Nkosi informed teachers.

Meanwhile, Free State teachers will only be returning to school on Thursday it emerged after a meeting between the provincial education department and the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of SA (Naptosa).

The SA Democratic Teachers’ Union’s secretariats in Gauteng, Northern Cape and North West have advised its members not to come to school until all the Covid-19 precautionary measures have been implemented.

Sadtu’s secretariat in Gauteng said the delivery of PPEs for school management teams in Tshwane West and South has not been completed.

Sadtu’s secretariat in the Northern Cape said that the last assessment report presented to the unions “clearly indicated that the provincial education department was not ready to open schools on Monday”.

“The department is working round-the-clock to ensure that deliveries are undertaken in keeping with the rules and regulations of Covid-19. For now stay at home and stay safe,” Nkosi informed teachers.

The Sadtu secretariat in North West said that up to Thursday 1,410 of the 1,621 schools had not been cleaned and disinfected.

It quoted the example of a school with 37 staff members who received only eight masks.

The Sadtu secretariat said that screeners had not yet been appointed at the province’s schools and that some did not have running water.

Meanwhile, Naptosa in KwaZulu-Natal said that the delivery of PPEs, including thermal scanners and cleaning material, has been “a complete disaster”.

“At this stage it is safe to say not all schools will have these items delivered by May 25.”

A report compiled by a team monitoring the delivery of PPEs in KwaZulu-Natal’s Umgungundlovu district paints a very bleak picture.

“School readiness stands at 10%. Teachers return on Monday but they don’t have temperature devices and masks.”

According to the report, only 30 of the 487 schools in the district have been deep cleaned.

The North West education department asked governing bodies and principals to identify people for a “once-off cleaning” of the school.

The department will pay R8,000 to schools with more than 700 pupils and R5,000 to those having fewer than 700 pupils.

Cleaners will be paid R160 a day and will also be given food.

The five teacher unions are meeting the basic education department on Saturday afternoon to get a report on the state of readiness for the reopening of schools.

By PREGA GOVENDER

4 COMMENTS

  1. Cannot understand the logic behind tobacco still being banned. If anything, it will force more people to share cigarettes when they cannot get or afford the black market packs

  2. Even CR supports those in government who are in the illegal cigarette business. This is disappoinnuting. Surely the government needs the tax income it gets from the sale of legal cigarettes. Makes no sense.

  3. Alcohol consumption leads to talking with spitting voices and talking right into the next person face social distancing won’t be possible cos a drunk person can’t remember sometimes what happened or the last drink he had a smoker can practice social distancing

  4. One thing that I don’t understand is at the fact that when they was only around 200 people that were affected with covid19 all the school were closed down but know that we are in our 22000 they wanna open the school

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