Make sure it's safe or we won't go back to school: teachers' union

Teachers from the Suid-Afrikaanse Onderwysersunie (SAOU) have issued a list of demands that the government must meet before schools can reopen.
Teachers from the Suid-Afrikaanse Onderwysersunie (SAOU) have issued a list of demands that the government must meet before schools can reopen.
Image: paylessimages / 123RF Stock Photo

The government must provide cloth masks, hand sanitisers and thermal scanners before schools are allowed to reopen.

These are among a list of demands that the almost 21,900 members of the Suid-Afrikaanse Onderwysersunie (SAOU), who participated in an electronic poll, want to be implemented.

SAOU'S chief executive Chris Klopper said in a statement that members insisted that the safety and health of education staff and learners must be the primary focus when schools reopen.

''The recovery of lost schoolwork during the past 25 school days will be the easiest component to implement - but the assurance of the health and safety of all persons, as well as the prevention of infections, the most complex," said Klopper.

The union's other demands include:

  • the pre-sanitisation of schools;
  • the delivery of adequate sanitation packages and equipment for the daily sanitisation of schools;
  • the provision of prescriptions for compliance with social distancing on and off the school premises;
  • isolation areas for persons who are identified at the school as infected; and
  • satisfactory safety protocols and communication to staff, parents and learners.

Klopper said that no school must reopen unless these demands were met.

He said the union's standing committee had also resolved that, if required, the courts will be requested to issue an appropriate instruction to guarantee compliance with the requirements.


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