Canaan Mdletshe and Mhlaba Memela
National Teachers Union (Natu) in KwaZulu-Natal has called on provincial education MEC Ina Cronje, pictured, to officially shut down schools in the province until July 2.
The call came as most schools in the strike-hit province remained closed pending the outcome of the public service strike.
Natu provincial spokesman Musa Gumede yesterday said the union believed that, in the interest of pupils, Cronje must pronounce on the closure of schools. He said the fact that most schools had already closed without her permission was an indication that the department was no longer in control.
"Even if we can strike a deal with government and teachers return to schools, there won't be any effective schooling because teachers are so dispirited.
"They need to cool down from the current climate of toyi-toying and regroup for the next semester," he said.
Meanwhile, striking public servants in Newcastle have shut down all Model C schools in the area, including Newcastle High, Ferrum High, Drakensberg Primary and Amajuba High.
The schools had to be evacuated after protesters forced the pupils out of the schools.
Ntokozo Maphisa, Education Department spokesman, denied schools were closed, but said the MEC had given principals the power to close their schools.