Motshekga's meetings with school stakeholders set to reveal way forward

Angie Motshekga
Angie Motshekga
Image: Cebisile Mbonani

The minister of basic education Angie Motshekga on Monday had a crucial meeting with leaders and representatives of teacher unions.

The school management teams were supposed to report back to work but different unions are opposed to the idea as they complain about the safety of their members. The union had also slammed the department for failing to deliver protective supplies such as sanitisers, masks, cleaning products, screeners and testers at schools.

A Gauteng secondary school principal who wanted to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal said even though they want schools to reopen their safety came first.

“Nothing has been done at schools at the moment and we can't tell our teachers to return to work. We are just not prepared to risk our lives and that of our pupils,” he said.

Basil Manuel, executive director of Naptosa, said together with other educator unions, they have presented a set of non-negotiables to Motshekga that must be met before schools are to reopen.

“We are at a point where the focus has shifted to the monitoring of delivery by the national and provincial departments of education. We are aware the provinces are at various stages of readiness and remain firm that we will not accept anything less than full compliance with the announced preconditions for the re-opening of schools,” Manuel said.

Department spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga confirmed the meetings the minister held with the teacher unions and other stakeholderss in the basic education sector.

“The first meeting was with the Council Of Education Ministers, which was followed by another meeting with the leadership of teacher unions. The last session was held with the school governing body associations and the South African Principal Associations. The meetings happened ahead of the minister’s return to the national coronavirus command council set to take place tomorrow,” Mhlanga said.

On Thursday Motshekga is expected to brief the media on the preparations towards the reopening of schools.

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